Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards conducted an inquiry into analysts’ reports of the finding of warfarin in the urine sample taken from Way We Go after that greyhound won Race 1, the Bathurst GBOTA Branch Stake, 307 metres, run at the Bathurst meeting on 15 April 2013.
Evidence was taken from trainer Shannon Kirby, owner-trainer Kristine Kirby, veterinary surgeon Clare Harrison and Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory Operations Manager Dr John Keledjian. Written evidence was tendered from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory, Racing Analytical Services Victoria, Racing NSW Head Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann and GRNSW.
In evidence Mr Kirby explained that the finding was likely to have come about due to the presence of rat bait containing warfarin, in and around the kennels, that was necessary to keep vermin from the kennels, having regard to the rural environment in which the kennels are located. Evidence provided by the laboratories indicated a low level of warfarin, consistent with ingestion of low level powdery residue from the baits. Bait was evident at the time of the delivery of the screening certificate. Veterinary evidence was also consistent with the finding.
Warfarin is an anticoagulant, more commonly known as a “blood thinner”. It’s medical use is for the prevention of blood clots, but it has long been used as a pesticide for mice and rats.
Mr Kirby was subsequently found guilty of a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) of having presented Way We Go at Bathurst on 15 April 2013 other than free of any prohibited substance in that the urine sample taken after the race was confirmed to have contained warfarin.
Mr Kirby was subsequently fined $1,500.
In considering penalty, stewards took into account such factors as Mr Kirby’s record of having not come under notice of stewards for any offence in more than 16 years of registration, his personal circumstances, the nature of the substance and evidence in regard to its properties, as well as the fact that there was little wagering interest in the greyhound.
Notwithstanding these considerations a measure of general deterrence is implied relevant to the need for protection of the interests of greyhound racing. It was the opinion of the stewards that a degree of negligence was also evident in the keeping of the bait in and around the kennel environment where contamination could occur.
Under GAR 83 (4), Way We Go was disqualified from the race in question and the placings amended accordingly.