Stewards wrap: Greyhounds granted a stay of proceedings

IN THE lead up to the biggest race series in NSW, the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg, Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) announced on Friday that the NSW Racing Appeals Tribunal had granted an interim stay of proceedings until 12pm Monday March 16 to allow nine suspended greyhounds the opportunity to be nominated for the heats of the $250,000-to-the-winner Golden Easter Egg and other feature events held throughout the Carnival.

The greyhounds which have been granted a stay of proceedings are Awesome Project, Bedazzled Bead, Cosmic Break, Keybow, Over Limit, Recruitment, Zipping Saxon, Zipping Spike and Zipping Willow.

The announcement comes after GRNSW made the decision last week to suspend 36 named greyhounds which had been associated with at least one of the suspended trainers from across the nation caught up in the live-baiting scandal. Each greyhound was suspended due to the possibility they could have been exposed to the live-baiting practice, with GRNSW announcing an inquiry would be held for each dog to assess their suitability to resume racing, including a veterinary assessment to see if they had suffered any adverse effects.

Since that time, the NSW Racing Appeals Tribunal received several applications to appeal a GRNSW decision to suspend the greyhounds with each application also including an application to stay the effect of the suspensions while the ongoing investigation into alleged live-baiting offences occurred.

The full fields for the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg series will be released on Monday.

IN FURTHER news from NSW, registered trainer Paul Van Gestel has been disqualified for four months after a post-race urine sample taken from his greyhound, Britt’s Pick, after it won at Richmond on the September, 24, 2014 was analysed and confirmed to have contained the prohibited substance 6-alpha-hydroxystanozolol.

Evidence and/or written evidence was submitted by Van Gestel, from Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley, from ARFL Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann, the ARFL, Racing Analytical Services VIC and GRNSW.

Van Gestel presented a veterinary report to state Britt’s Pick had been administered a 5ml dose of Stanozol 34 days prior to the event to assist with injury and acidosis. The advice included an explanation that this substance would not be found in a sample obtained from the greyhound after 10 days, however the dose administered was in excess of three times the recommended dose (as concluded in studies by analytical laboratories in QLD and NSW).

Van Gestel pleaded guilty to presenting Britt’s Pick for the race in question other than free of any prohibited substance. In assessing the penalty handed down, Stewards were mindful of Van Gestel’s previously unblemished record of having no similar offence during 20 years of registration, his guilty plea, the comparatively low level of the substance found in the sample, a number of cleared samples taken throughout his career as a trainer and the fact he was a hobby trainer. Stewards also gave consideration in that he appeared to be given ill considered vet advice.

Britt’s Pick was disqualified from the September event and the placings were amended. The greyhound was also disqualified from the final of the subsequent event on October 1 2014, where it placed sixth. Van Gestel has appealed the decision.

IN QUEENSLAND on Tuesday, Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards conducted an inquiry into the analysts findings after a urine sample obtained from Commando Charles when it competed at the Ipswich meeting on January 6, 2015 was found to contain the prohibited substance Desvenlafaxine. Evidence was taken from trainer Kylie Jorgensen, her husband and Karen Cadwell (Senior Veterinarian Racing Science Centre). Jorgensen was charged with GAR 83 (2) (a) in that she did nominated a greyhound to compete in an event not free of a prohibited substance and she plead guilty to the charge. Jorgensen’s trainer’s licence was suspended for six months effective immediately and to expire on September 9, 2015. Commando Charles was disqualified from its event.

ON THE same day in the Sunshine State, RQ Stewards conducted an inquiry into the analysts findings in a urine sample taken from Magic Angel which competed at Albion Park on January 4, 2015 was found to contain the prohibited substance Procain. Graham pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $1,500. Magic Angel was also disqualified from the event with placings altered accordingly.

IN TASMANIA, Racing Services Tasmanian Stewards conducted an inquiry into the analysts findings in a urine sample which was taken from the greyhound Janda at the Hobart meeting on December 11, 2014 which was found to contain the presence of the drug Haptaminol. Trainer Margaret Rossendell pleaded guilty to a charge of presenting a greyhound not free of any drug, with Stewards deciding to disqualify her training licence for four months commencing on March 6, 2015 and concluding on July 5, 2015. Janda was also disqualified from the event. Stewards further charged Rossendell for an offence under GAR 84A which pertains to keeping and retaining treatment records and, despite pleading not guilty, she was found guilty and fined $200.

IN VICTORIA, Donna Sturgess was disqualified for a period of 12 months (with nine months of the penalty suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR86 during that period) by the Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board after she plead and was found guilty of two acts of misconduct at the Bendigo GRC on November 22, 2014. It was alleged that Sturgess assaulted Ben Briffa by punching him in the face and that she used indecent language in a public area during the GRV “Ready 2 Race” sales.