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.