GRNSW release findings from Il Bacaro review

GREYHOUND Racing NSW (GRNSW) has released the findings from an internal review into an incident which occurred at Wentworth Park on December 26, 2015.

The specifics of the case were that the wrong greyhound, namely Asa Killa Queen, was presented to race in place of its kennel mate Il Bacaro.

Asa Killa Queen subsequently won the aforementioned race, with NSW Greyhound Breeders Owners and Trainers Association (NSW GBOTA) employees failing to identify the greyhound correctly until after the race had been won.

A GRNSW Stewards Inquiry found Wentworth Park identification officials Andrew Rowe and Steven Athanassas guilty of failing to correctly identify Asa Killa Queen prior to the race, with the trainer of both greyhounds, Anthony Azzopardi, as well as two of his kennel staff, Robert Stojanov and Norman Sheppard, guilty of presenting the wrong greyhound.

Following the incident, GRNSW also launched an internal review to consider whether it would be necessary to change any of the Greyhound Racing Rules to prevent any further incidents of a similar nature.

Another aspect of the review was to consider GRNSW’s liability to those who wagered on Il Bacaro in the event, with punters losing their cash when the greyhound was disqualified.

The review found that the existing rules are sufficient to deal with the incorrect presentation of a greyhound and noted that the decision to disqualify the greyhound from the event was correct.

GRNSW also found that it does not bear any liability to refund the monies wagered on Il Bacaro in the event in question.

Following the finalisation of the review, a statement from GRNSW on Thursday evening expressed the governing body’s disappointment with the NSW GBOTA employees and racing participants involved in the matter, while GRNSW has also written to the NSW GBOTA requiring its response to formal directions, pursuant to the Greyhound Racing Act 2009 (NSW), in regards to its regulatory and risk management framework.

Consequently, GRNSW will be actively reviewing the adequacy of the existing greyhound racing club compliance framework and investigating its options to enhance its control and oversight of racing under the existing arrangements.

GRNSW CEO Paul Newson said it is time for the governing body to take more control in regards to racing within the state.

“I am satisfied that the existing model where individual greyhound racing clubs can administer key aspects of racing oversight is undesirable,” Newson said.

“Going forward the complete integrity function and associated supervision, including racing officials, must be under the direction and control of GRNSW.”

The release went on to say that GRNSW will be working with the NSW GBOTA to ensure it has the correct procedures in place to avoid future reoccurrences of similar incidents and will aim to ensure all race clubs in NSW are meeting the requirements in relation to club management and training.

Past Discussion

  1. As a former Steward I delt with two of these occurrences one at Gosford and one at Lithgow recommendations were made to the board but fell on deaf ears, we were assured that microchips would assure that this problem would not occur in the future. Got it wrong again.

  2. The control body release is a summary of an investigation prompt http://www.grnsw.com.au/news/il-bacaro-review-finalised-    ( On the New GRNSW site) It would be helpful if the whole transcript of the inquiry (with redactions if necessary was published ) as the matter should go well beyond the punishment of participants and associations. The Buck stops with the control board who have a legal responsibility to take over the all TAB meetings by providing their own stewards with the necessary powers. The suggested path of action by the administrator of greyhound racing in an interview with the above author opens a can of worms. The solution of governing by providing the staff to be governed yourself leads to the conflict (as you had with the Potter ICAC inquiry) of who guards the guardians?. If the control board is going to expand its role then it would need to do it by providing these services it already does and also to provides services at the cost proportions for integrity that it already does by the awarding of  meeting allowances. Further modern technology should be forthcoming for reducing human error and a cheaper accommodation of greyhounds. The current cost of staff under statutory control is said to be 30% higher than the real world and far greater than clubs rates. The control board need to put a business case out to the sport if they intend advancing into more traditional club areas. 

  3. When the idiots run the Asylum thats what happens. GRNSW couldn’t run a chook raffle.’Having people on a board with no association with the industry was always a recipe for Disaster, Paul Newson and his gang of yes men should be sacked Now.