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Result of a hearing held before the Harness Racing Victoria Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on 9 January 2017. Zeke Slater – Disqualified Person Charge 1 – Rule 259(1)(a) & (g) – Associating with trainer Kymberley Barr for purposes related to the harness racing industry and entered the registered training premises of Ms Barr on 19 October 2016. Guilty plea 6 Month period of disqualification imposed to be served cumulatively to current periods of disqualification. Total periods of disqualification to expire on 14 August 2018. Kymberley Barr – Licensed Trainer Charge 1 – Rule 230 – Associating with disqualified person Zeke Slater for purposes related to the harness racing industry and allowing him to enter her registered training premises on 19 October 2016. Guilty plea $2,000 fine imposed with $1,500 of that penalty suspended for a period of 2 years.    TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS RACING AND DISCIPLINARY BOARD MR ANTHONY BURNS, Chairman MR JOHN DENAHY   EXTRACT OF PROCEEDINGS KYMBERLEY BARR ZEKE SLATER   DECISION MONDAY 9 JANUARY 2016 MR B DAY appeared on behalf of the HRV Stewards MS BARR AND MR SLATER appeared on their own behalf (via telephone) ............................................... Ms Barr pleaded guilty to a breach of Rule 230 in that she associated with Zeke Slater, a disqualified person, for the purposes of harness racing. She and Mr Slater are de facto partners so an association is of course allowed. However, she must not involve him in matters associated with the harness racing industry. To have him convey an empty horse float to a licensed training facility was a request in furtherance of harness racing logistics and we find the appropriate penalty is a fine of $2000 with $1500 of that amount wholly suspended for 2 years. This amount is less than was submitted by the Stewards but given her co-operation, her relative inexperience, her guilty plea and the financial hardship which is evident we find it is the appropriate amount.  As for Mr Slater he is a person currently disqualified until 14 February 2018. Australian Rule of Harness Racing 259A came into existence in Victoria in December 2015. It states “in addition to any penalty imposed pursuant to Rule 259(7) the original period of disqualification shall unless otherwise ordered by the stewards, automatically recommence in full”.  Whilst this rule is in place to ensure the integrity of any disqualification is maintained its strict application may sometimes lead to an unjust result. Here we note the rule allows for our discretion and we exercise it in favour of Mr Slater given the circumstances suggesting an inadvertent breach rather than anything sinister. Added to that is his guilty plea and we accordingly decline to recommence the disqualification in full.  None the less strict adherence to respecting the disqualification is required and a further disqualification to be served cumulatively is appropriate. Given the guilty plea and the circumstances we order a further disqualification of 6 months. When added to the 21 months currently imposed and commencing on 14 February 2016, a further six months will see his disqualification conclude on 14 August 2018.  Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

Evergreen harness racing pacer Motu Crusader continued his winning streak by capturing his third win in succession in the $10,000 Plunkett Family Ascot Gold Cup over 2579 metres at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night. Motu Crusader was the sole handicapper off 30 metres but the gallant eight-year-old made light of the task. With Gareth Rattray aboard he stepped brilliantly from the standing start and quickly made up ground to tack onto the main body of the field. When Rattray made his move down the back straight the last time he had the leaders in his sights turning for home and then powered up the home straight to score comfortably from Ardlussa Express and Outback Mach. The Zeke Slater-trained Courage Under Fire gelding won the $10,000 Elite in Hobart three starts back and followed up with an impressive win in the $10,000 Golden Mile in Launceston. "That's three feature race wins in a row for this horse so it proves he is definitely back to his best," Slater said. Motu Crusader will attempt to extend his winning sequence in the Brighton Cup in Hobart next Sunday night. Peter Staples

Lightly-raced harness racing performer Fletchers Knight delivered a message at Tattersall’s Park Hobart last night that delighted his trainer Zeke Slater. Despite having his first start for six months, Fletchers Knight showed brilliant speed to lead in the Ranvet Pace over 2090 metres and then had plenty in reserve at the business end to score by over 15 metres from Playstationking and Joe Cable. During his previous preparation Fletchers Knight only won once from seven starts before his form waned, with owners Paul and Meagan Carlson taking the son of Safe And Sound back to their property for a lengthy spell. Thrilled with the gelding’s first-up effort Slater believes Fletchers Knight can make steady progress through the grades this campaign. PETER STAPLES

Gallant harness racing gelding Motu Crusader is on target to win consecutive Easter Cups following his impressive heat win at Launceston last Sunday night. Motu Crusader over came off a 40-metre handicap to score in style, suggesting he has lost none of the power he showed to win last year’s Easter Cup. With Victorian reinsman Gavin Lang in the sulky, the eight-year-old stepped well and made up ground gradually before unleashing a powerful sprint to emerge triumphant over Riverboat Jasper and rising talent Ardlussa Express. Trainer Zeke Slater was thrilled with Motu Crusader’s effort. “If I had have been asked two weeks ago whether the horse was going as well as last year I would have said no, but in the past week he has come on really well and tonight he showed me he’s back to where he needs to be to win another Easter Cup,” Slater said. Motu Crusader dead-heated for second in his heat last year before going on to win the Final convincingly. The remaining Easter Cup heat was won by Victorian-owned gelding Rule Like A King, which is being prepared for the feature by Beauty Point trainer-driver Rohan Hillier. Driven by Hillier, Rule Like A King rolled to the front soon after the start, and when challenged along the home straight, he had no trouble fending off his rivals. The son of Mach Three scored comfortably from another Victorian, Outrageous El, with Tasmanian Cup winner Star Chamber third. PETER STAPLES

Consistent harness racing mare Ebabe delivered another courageous performance to score an impressive win at Tattersall’s Park Hobart last night. The Zeke Slater-trained pacer faced the breeze for most of the 2090-metre trip from her outside front row draw, and when driver Adrian Collins sent her to the front along the back straight, she powered home to score comfortably. Slater said Ebabe had been a good money spinner for owners Merv and Marjory Butterworth who have been big supporters of his stable. “Ebabe has been very consistent, and while she races in these lower grades, she will be very competitive as she showed tonight,” Slater said. “She has won four, but placed nine times from almost 30 starts, so she has paid her way. “I’m not sure how much further she will go here in Tassie, but while she’s in this sort of form she will be very competitive.” Collins said he was confident a log way out that the mare would win. The daughter of Union Guy ratdd 2:04.2, with the final 800 metres covered in 59.6 seconds. PETER STAPLES

Underrated pacer Ciskei powered his way to an impressive win in the Carrick Cup on Saturday to make it back-to-back wins in the feature race for harness racing premier trainer Barrie Rattray. With trainer's son Todd in the sulky, the Bettors Delight gelding began brilliantly from the standing start to settle outside of the leader and when Gareth Rattray sent his charge Driller Mac around the field to attack for the lead about 1600m out, Todd Rattray urged Ciskei forward tom assume control in front and the pair matched motors to the home turn. Ciskei kicked clear and had enough in reserve to stave off a powerful finish from Whisper Jet (Zeke Slater) to defeat that horse by a nose with the well backed Vande Velde (Christian Salter) a head away third. It was a popular win as Ciskei was well backed to win the New Norfolk Cup on Australia Day but he broke gait at a crucial stage of the race that may have cost him victory. "He's racing very well and should have won the New Norfolk Cup," Rattray said. "He was jogging going down the back straight when I think he got onto his bumpers and broke." "But the Carrick Cup was always his main aim so it's mission accomplished," he said. It was the trainer second success in as many years having won the 2014 edition with Devendra that went on to win the Devonport Cup. Devendra eventually made his way to the James Rattray stable in NSW where he performed brilliantly winning multiple races at Menangle and while Barrie is hopeful that might happen with Ciskei, he isn't counting on it. Peter Staples

Although second past the post, Spot Nine was declared the winner of the Show Cup at Launceston last Sunday night. Star Chamber, which was driven along the inside turning for home, scored by three-and-a-half metres from Spot Nine and Falco Peregrinus. But a stewards' inquiry revealed Nathan Ford had gone inside the pegs with Star Chamber and was subsequently disqualified for gaining an unfair advantage. The placings were amended with Spot Nine declared the winner from Falco Peregrinus and Tessanzo. It was a disaster race for punters with the favourite Riverboat Jasper ($2.90) tailed out to last after making a mess of the standing start, while the well-backed Divas Delight ($3.90) was unable to make any impression from his 10-metre handicap. Spot Nine is trained at Seven Mile Beach by Zeke Slater and driven by Christian Salter, who was also successful with Aninchofhislife, which he also trains. PETER STAPLES

TALENTED harness racing trainer Zeke Slater has built a reputation for rekindling the careers of horses which have lost form and at Hobart last Sunday night he was at it again. Mister Pinjarra made his debut for Slater in a C2 Pace over 2090 metres and delivered the goods with a powerful last 400 metres to score from Spot Nine and Maybe Doc. Mister Pinjarra was driven patiently by Nathan Ford, who waited until entering the back straight before calling on the son of P Forty Seven for the supreme effort. Slater purchased the five-year-old on the internet for $2500. “I had a few blokes from Victoria who were keen to get a horse and I found this one and we got him at the right price,” Slater said. “When he arrived at my stables he had lost form, but he had won seven and been placed 15 times from just over 40 starts in New South Wales, so I was quietly confident we would pick up a race or two with him here in Tassie. “He also had a recurrence of a minor tendon injury, but working on the beach has been good for him and he is a very happy horse at the moment and he raced accordingly on Sunday.” Slater doesn’t believe Mister Pinjarra will reach any great heights in Tasmania but says he will be very disappointed if he didn’t win more races. It was good night for Slater who landed a double after his former smart free-for-aller Greysteel scored an impressive win in the Wolfe Brothers Pace over 2090 metres. The 10-year-old powered home to score from Spot Nine and Maybe Doc to give Slater plenty of reasons to smile. “We all know that Greysteel was a very classy open class horse when at the top of his game, but he’s had plenty of problems since he was winning feature races during the Christmas Carnivals here in Tassie.” “He had an operation and that has helped overcome some issues, and if we can keep him sound, I’m sure he will be competitive in the better races later in the year.” PETER STAPLES

STAR Tasmanian reinsman Ricky Dugan is having on of his best seasons with his efforts at the past two Hobart harness racing meetings netting him six winners and multiple minor placings. Last Sunday night he partnered Angela De Marco and Giuliani to victory and both drivers were superb. He rated Angela De Marco to perfection in front and he made a midrace dash aboard Giuliani to find the front and that proved to be the winning move. He was quite upbeat about both hoses. "I thought Angela De Marco's win was full of merit because she stargazed a bit when she slipped clear in e straight but when she caught a glimpse of on coming she lifted," Dugan said. "I have no doubt that the filly will be even better after a spell so the owners should expect her to do some good things as a four-year-old," he said. Giuliani sowed courage in the home straight when at one stage it appeared that he might be swamped by the challengers. "Giuliani has developed into a very strong type and he has good high speed," Dugan said. Angela De Marco is owned by Barry Cooper and Jamie Cockshutt while Merv and Meg Butterworth pay up or Giuliani hat is prepared by Zeke Slater. Peter Staples

Motu Crusader confirmed his harness racing status as one of the mot consistent pacers to race in Tasmania in many years when he powered home to win he 2014 Examiner Newspaper Easter Cup over 2698 metres in Launceston last night. The Zeke Slater-trained seven-year-old not only had to overcome a back mark of 40 metres but he also travelled three-wide for the last two laps. Motu Crusader has won the past two Group 3 Tasmania Cups along with other feature races in Tasmania since finding his way into Slater's Seven Mile Beach stables. The gelding is owned by Merv and Meg Butterworth who have invested heavily in standardbreds to become two of the biggest owners in the nation. Motu Crusader ($5) settled at the rear of the field while Dylan Ford took the Keith Toulmin-trained Falco Peregrinus ($10) to the lead and that gelding set a solid pace while the well-backed favourite Call The Marshall ($3.20) enjoyed the coveted one-out-one-back position. When driver Grant Campbell opted to set Motu Crusader on a forward move 1400 metres out he flushed out Cal The Marshall that led the three-wide brigade. Falco Peregrinus kicked clear turning for home but a wall of horses made a charge for the line with only four metres separating the first eight across the line. Motu Crusader hit the line less than a neck clear of Falco Peregrinus with last year's Easter Cup winner Biggernbettermax ($22.70) a close-up third. Listen to what trainer Zeke Slater had to say about Motu Crusader's brilliant Easter Cup win. Peter Staples

LONGFORD trainer Barrie Rattray continued his dominance of country cup victories when his four-year-old gelding Divas Delight outgunned his rivals in the St Marys Cup over 2685 metres on the grass track at St Marys on Saturday. Divas Delight emerged triumphant with stable driver Todd Rattray aboard, hitting the line clear of the Zeke Slater-trained duo Class Above Lombo and Babes Boy Bob. It was the sixth win of the season for Divas delight and with six minor placings from the remaining seven starts this season he is proving to be one of Rattray's most consistent stable tenants. Divas Delight (Bettors Delight-Draw Card) is one Rattray's home-grown mob and he joins Devendra that has won the Devonport Cup, Carrick Cup and Burnie Cup this season and he too has an ou9tatanfing record of 12 starts for six wins and five minor placings. Divas Delight and Devendra form part of Rattray's four-pronged attack to tackle the Raider Stakes four-year-old sires stakes feature in Devonport next Sunday night. He also has likely favourite Pachacuti that won his Raider Stakes heat last week in Launceston and the other heat winner Rykov leis that led all the way to win his heat. By Peter Staples    

HARNESS racing trainer Zeke Slater has his eyes in the St Marys Cup with Class Above Lombo that scored an impressive win in Launceston last Sunday night. The St Marys annual meeting is traditionally run on New Year's Day but when the SMPC had to cancel this year's event because of the state of the grass track the meeting was set aside to be run in another timeslot Tasracing, in conjunction with the SMPC, settled on Easter Saturday and all is in readiness for what should be another brilliant day of harness racing at the East Coast venue. The rescheduled meeting features the St Marys Cup that boasts prizemoney of $10,000 and it is being targeted by many trainers, including Slater. Class Above Lombo is unbeaten from his three starts in Tasmania, the latest last Sunday night in Launceston in a C4 event over 2200m. But he needs one more win to take her to C5 class that is the benchmark for entry into the St Marys Cup, which is a standing start event. "The horse has not won from a standing start but he has very good manners so I don't think it (standing start) would present a problem," Slater said. "It looks an ideal race for him and it's worth $10,000 so I'll probably run him at Devonport next Monday night in a C5 or better race to try and get his qualified class wise," he said. By Peter Staples

Veteran harness racing pacer Motu Crusader captured another feature race in Tasmania when he scored a game win in the $10,000 Beautide Launceston Mile over 1680 metres last Sunday night. Motu Crusader has enjoyed a lot of success in Tasmania as he has won the past two Tasmania Cups and a bunch of other feature races over the past two years. At this most recent outing he was partnered by Victorian driver Grant Campbell who allowed the gelding to settle rearward and come with a late charge but he only just got there in the end. Motu Crusader, owned by Merv Butterworth, powered home to edge out Five Star Anvil in the shadows of the post. "We enjoyed a great run in the race but a slower than expected first half mile didn't help his cause," Campbell said. "I always thought that I was going to catch Five Star Anvil but we only just got there." "The fact that it's a long home straight certainly helped," he said. The driver was full of praise for trainer Zeke Slater who had not started the gelding since he contested the Hunter Cup in Victoria on February 1. Slater said Motu Crusader's next target will be the Easter Cup in Launceston on April 20. Peter Staples.

The $400,000 Group 1 A. G Hunter Cup is on the agenda for recent Tasmania Cup winner Motu Crusader that scored another effortless win in Launceston last Friday night. At this latest assignment Motu Crusader gave his rivals a 40-metre start but meted out a pacing lesson to his rivals as he powered home to score by over three metres from recent Hobart Pacing Cup winner Spot Nine in the McKillop Insurances Discretionary Handicap over 2200 metres. Motu Crusader's trainer Zeke Slater was delighted with the win and confirmed the A. G Hunter Cup as the likely next big-race target for the seven-year-old. "He meets most of the qualifications to run in the Hunter Cup so that's the race we're looking at," Slater said. "He ran a terrific time off his 40-metre handicap and he ran home his last half (800 metres) in 55.4 so you don't get much better than that on this track," he said. Motu Crusader stepped cleanly off his back mark and top reinsman Ricky Duggan had him pacing sweetly and in touch with the main body of the field after traveling 600 metres. It was obvious a long way from home that the Merv and Meg Butterworth-owned gelding had the field covered and when Duggan called on him to extend at the top of the home straight he powered home to win without being fully extended. The Hunter Cup will be run in Victoria at Tabcorp Park Melton on February 1. By Peter Staples

Recent Tasmania Cup winner Motu Crusader kept his winning streak intact when he powered his way to an effortless win in the Lees Orchard Free-For-All at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night. With Gareth Rattray in the sulky, Motu Crusader began well from his near outside front-row draw (7) and when the field settled he was set alight and had the lead in no time. When Rattray gave him more rein turning for home the seven-year-old gelding forged clear and went on to score by nine metres from interstate invader Amadmancomesundone with Maybe Doc just over 10 metres astern. It was an awesome win and one that trainer Zeke Slater expected. Motu Crusader is owned and raced by Merv and Meg Butterworth who have been sending horses to Slater for a few years and with much success with other horses such as Greysteel and star mare Queen of Fire. Slater has emerged as a quality trainer-horseman and with an owner such as Butterworth behind him he should be able to look forward to a bright future. Moto Crusader is likely to stay in Tasmania and be aimed at the Easter Cup By Peter Staples    

THE Tony Petersen-trained Ransom Olds lost no admirers with a gallant fourth in the $40,000 Tasmania Cup at Tattersall's Park last Sunday so those who supported the gelding will no doubt be keen to rally for him in tonight's heat of the Hobart Pacing Cup at the same venue. Ransom Olds has started four times this preparation for two minor placings but his fourth last week was good enough to suggest he can be the testing material for his rivals in race seven tonight. The heat boasts only a small field of six with Ransom Olds, Greysteel and smart mare Laterron likely to do battle for favouritism. Greysteel has not started since mid July when third of seven in ka free-for-all over 2200 metres in Launceston. The Zeke Slater-trained nine-year-old has a terrific first-up record and from barrier five he could have enough speed to either lead or grab the one-one spot if Ransom Olds finds the front. Slater also has Laterron engaged and this talented mare comes off a game third in the George Johnson behind Delightful Christian and Arts Bliss last Sunday night. The interesting runner is the sole interstate invader Amadmancomesundone from the Craig Knowles stable at Mitchell Park. Amadmancomesundone hasn't won since March last year and the closet he has come to winning a race recently is a fifth at Swan Hill in a field of nine and seven metres from the winner. The Melissa Maine-trained Spot Nine (gate 2) and pole marker Udoit have only moderate form from recent outings and would need to improve significantly to cause an upset. Peter Staples  

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