New South Wales GHRRA Stewards have handed greyhound trainer Dave Righetti an eighteen month disqualification for a positive swab to the stimulant drug, dextroamphetamine.
Righetti has enjoyed great success in the past few weeks, winning several Wentworth Park races with speedy youngster Locatelli, owned by radio and media personality Ray Hadley.
The positive swab stems from a Wentworth Park race on the 20th December 2008, when Righetti’s greyhound Thump Boxer, owned by Sky Channel TV personality Dale “Tex” Walker, came from last to win a 720m race as a $3.20 second favourite.
Dextroamphetamine is commonly available as Dexedrine, which is a stimulant that increases focus and alertness without decreasing fatigue. It’s use in greyhounds was extremely prevalent in the days before the modern stringent swabbing procedures were implemented.
NSW GHRRA Stewards finalised the inquiry on the 21st April 2009, into the positive finding of d-amphetamine in the urine sample taken from Thump Boxer when it competed at Wentworth Park on the 20th December 2008.
On the night in question Thump Boxer managed a last to first effort to run down early leader Dana Knuckles, winning by 2.25 lengths in a personal best time of 43.08 on debut over the Wentworth Park staying journey. It was Thump Boxer’s third win in a row after winning his previous two starts at Richmond over the 717m. Thump Boxer has failed to win a single race at all his subsequent five race starts.
A review of the betting activity indicates that the race held almost twice that of the previous race pools on Betfair, the NSW TAB, SuperTab and UniTab, for a total hold of $123,000 compared to just $72,000 on the previous race. And the betting acitivity on the only other staying race on the night pailed in to insignificance by comparison, holding just $36,000 across all four betting pools.
Trainer David Righetti was charged with a breach of Rule 83(2)(a) in that he failed to present Thump Boxer for racing, drug free, to which he pleaded not guilty, however after further consideration of all evidence Mr. Righetti was found in breach of Rule 83(2) and guilty as charged.
Stewards disqualified Mr Righetti for 18 months, commencing 21st April 2009 for his breach of Rule 83(2)(a).
Thump Boxer was also disqualified from the event, with Dana Knuckles named the winner.
Thump Boxer has subsequently been transferred in to the care of NSW greyhound trainer Wayne Vanderburg.
Dave Righetti has lodged appeal against his disqualification of 18 months.