Stewards wrap: No charges for Sarkis relating to rabbit carcass

GREYHOUND Racing New South Wales (GRNSW) stewards have made the decision to not lay any charges against registered greyhound trainer Harry Sarkis following the discovery of a rabbit carcass on his property in July.

The carcass was found during an announced kennel inspection at Sarkis’ Agnes Banks property and was collected for examination.

Sarkis had previously told Australian Racing Greyhound the carcass was partially decomposed and believed to have been from a wild rabbit which had died and been unknowingly raked up amongst a pile of debris and rubbish on his rural residence.

“I never saw the dead carcass amongst the stuff I had raked…a lot of the time I am raking at 7 O’clock at night while I let the dogs out,” Sarkis told Australian Racing Greyhound at the time.

“If I was doing anything wrong why would I leave a damn rabbit in full view for everyone to see? Especially when I know I have a kennel inspection.

“I don’t know whether the rabbit has died, if it’s been chased and hurt by a fox and then run into the pile of branches, or whether some of my dogs which are left out in the runs overnight got it.

“I simply don’t know what has happened to the rabbit, but it looks to have been there for four or five months and I have only been here two months.”

Stewards held an inquiry into the matter, with the verdict being there was no direct evidence to suggest Sarkis had breached GAR 92(3)(b) which relates to using any part of an animal for the purposes of training a greyhound.

Cobalt positives force NSW trainers onto the sidelines

Four NSW greyhound trainers have faced stewards in recent weeks after their greyhounds tested positive to cobalt in excess of the 100ng/mL threshold.

The results of the inquiries are as follows:

– Kim Mulrine has been suspended for 14 weeks for the sample taken from No Holding Back at Dapto on November 26, 2015.
– Charles Northfield has been suspended for 12 weeks after the greyhound Kingsbrae Chooky returned a positive urine sample when competing at Tamworth on April 30, 2016.
– Mark Swift has been suspended for 14 weeks following a positive urine sample which was taken from Chocolate Fever at Bathurst on March 14, 2016.
– Daniel Brewer has been disqualified for 15 weeks after his greyhound One With returned a positive sample when competing at Richmond on April 20, 2016.

Ralph Smith suspended

Trainer Ralph Smith recently faced GRNSW charged with a breach of GAR 83(2) after his greyhound, Mini Dancer, returned a positive urine sample to caffeine and its metabolites when competing at Richmond on July 13, 2016.

Smith entered an early guilty plea and, after considering all of the evidence, stewards imposed a 14-week disqualification.

Polidano fined by stewards

Richard Polidano has been fined $1000 by GRNSW after his greyhound, Wise Minerva, returned a positive urine sample to the prohibited substance phenytoin when competing at Bathurst on March 28, 2016.

Polidano entered an early guilty plea to a breach of GAR 83(2) in that he presented the greyhound to race in a state which was not free of a prohibited substance.

Paul Abdallah faces stewards over unapproved lure

Trainer Paul Abdullah has been fined by GRNSW for two rule breaches. The first breach was in relation to GAR 84(4) in that he had in his possession an unapproved lure at a trial session at Wentworth Park on February 2, 2016.

The second charge was for a breach of GAR 86(f) which was for using improper, insulting and offensive language towards a GRNSW official.

Abdullah entered an early guilty plea on both charges. He was fined $150 for the breach of GAR 84(4) and $375, wholly suspended for 12 months, for the breach of GAR 86(f).

Rodney Lee fined

Rodney Lee recently entered an early guilty plea to a breach of GAR 83(2) after his greyhound Larina Lee returned a urine sample which showed the presence of the prohibited substance chlorophenoxyacetic acid when it competed at Lismore on December 1, 2015.

During a telephone conversation on October 25, Lee admitted to stewards he had made an honest mistake and accepted the penalty offer of a $750 fine.

Darryl Fitzsimmons disqualified

Darryl Fitzsimmons has been handed down a 21-week disqualification after entering an early guilty plea to a breach of the prohibited substance rule.

The specifics of the case were that Fitzsimmons’ greyhound Rojo Dragon returned a positive urine sample to the prohibited substance caffeine and its metabolites when competing in a stewards’ trial at the Gardens on May 21, 2016.

Leslie Bates faces South Australian stewards

Leslie Bates was recently the subject of a Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA) stewards inquiry following a report by GRSA Animal Welfare Officer’s which related to a random kennel inspection at his property on October 14, 2016.

Bates was charged with a breach of GAR 106 which relates to kennels having to be of an adequate size and which are kept in a clean and sanitary condition.

Bates was found guilty as charged and handed down a three-month suspension which was wholly suspended for 24 months as well as a $350 fine.

Stott disqualified and fined

Trainer Kevin Stott has been found guilty of a breach of the prohibited substance rule after his greyhound Dolce Nero returned a positive urine sample to Ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine and cathine after competing at Gawler on February 14, 2016.

Despite pleading not guilty, Stott was slapped with a three-month disqualification and was fined $750, while the greyhound was also disqualified from the event in question.

Hannagan pleads guilty to misconduct charge

Peter Hannagan recently faced GRSA Stewards in relation to a breach of GAR 86(o), with the specifics being that he used foul, abusive and threatening language towards a duty manager.

Hannagan pleaded guilty and was fined $500, with $200 suspended for 24 months on the condition he does not reoffend under that rule.

Christopher Croft guilty of prohibited substance breach

Victorian trainer Christopher Croft has been found guilty by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) for two rule breaches, GAR 83 (1A) and GAR 83(2) which relate to administering a prohibited substance and presenting a greyhound for an event when it is not free of a prohibited substance.

The specifics of the case were that a urine sample taken from the greyhound Obama Flyer at Bendigo on March 18, 2016, showed the presence of Cobalt greater than the 100ng/mL threshold.

Croft pleaded guilty to both charges and upon consideration was handed down a 12 month disqualification, of which nine months were suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 83 within the next 12 months.

Jason Stemmer disqualified

Jason Stemmer recently fronted the RADB charged with a breach of GAR 83(1A) and GAR 83(2) with the specifics being that his greyhound Sunny Breaks returned a positive urine sample to Cobalt at a concentration higher than the allowed threshold when racing at Cranbourne on May 4, 2016.

Stemmer pleaded guilty as charged and was given a 12-month disqualification with nine months disqualified for 12 months pending no further GAR 83 breaches during that time.

Trainer successfully fights negligence charge

Ron Gilliland has successfully appealed a $500 suspended fine imposed by the RADB after he was found guilty of a breach of GAR 86(o).

The specifics of the case were that stewards believed Gilliland had acted in a negligent fashion by not seeking treatment for a non healing wound to the tail of the greyhound Windsor Reign prior to competing in a qualifying trial on August 27.

After considering the evidence put forward, including evidence from the greyhound’s regular veterinarian who said that the tail had been healing well, leading the trainer to believe it did not require veterinary attention, the RADB allowed the appeal and set aside to $500 suspended fine penalty.

Jacobson disqualified

Prominent trainer Brian Jacobson has been disqualified by Racing and Wagering WA (RWWA) following the conclusion of an inquiry into his conduct at Northam on August 20, 2016.

Jacobson was charged with a breach of GAR 86(o) in relation to his handling of the greyhound Channing which in the opinion of stewards was considered to be improper.

Subsequently, a three-month disqualification has been imposed, back dated to when the inquiry was commenced on September 13, 2016. Therefore, the disqualification will expire on December 12, 2016.

Hepple and Lawton verdicts announced

RWWA Stewards have handed down a verdict in the case of trainer Peter Hepple and veterinarian Dr Phillip Lawton. Both men pleaded guilty to a series of charges stemming from the discovery of the substance Fertagyl (gonadotrophin releasing hormone) at Hepple’s kennel property during a kennel inspection on September 15, 2016.

The summary of the verdicts handed down are as follows:

Peter Hepple

Charge 1 – GAR 79A(7) out of competition testing: particulars of the charge being that Hepple, a registered participant, was in possession of the permanently banned substance Fertagyl which could give rise to an offence if administered to a greyhound. $1,500 fine.

Charge 2 – GAR 84A(4)(a) treatment records to be kept: particulars of the charge being that Hepple administered the permanently banned substance Fertagyl to the greyhound Questar on five occasions between April 21 and June 16. Twelve month disqualification.

Charge 3 – GAR 83(1) Racing greyhound to be free of prohibited substances: particulars of the charge being that Hepple administered the permanently banned substance Fertagyl to the greyhound Dunn and Dunner on October 2, 2015, prior to it racing on October 5, 2015. Two year disqualification.

The disqualification periods have been backdated to October 17, 2016, and are to be served concurrently.

Dr. Phillip Lawton

GAR 86(o) with the particulars being that, on April 20, whilst he was the approved on-track veterinarian, he prescribed the permanently banned substance Fertagyl to trainer Peter Hepple and that in doing so he had done something which was improper in the opinion of stewards. Fined $1,500.

Darryl McGrath fined

Darryl McGrath recently fronted the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) charged with a breach of GAR 83(2)(a) with the specifics being that his greyhound My Sprite returned a urine sample which showed the presence of firocoxib when competing at Albion Park on July 31, 2016.

McGrath pleaded guilty and was fined $1,500.

Julius Perrett fined

Julius Perrett has been fined by the QRIC after being charged with breaches of the prohibited substance rule. The breaches related to the finding of heptaminol in the urine samples taken from Walloon Smartie when competing at Ipswich on June 28 and Capalaba on July 9.

Despite pleading not guilty, Perrett was found guilty as charged and was fined $1,500 on each charge.

Past Discussion

  1. Wonder how much it cost GRNSW to prosecute the Harry Sarkis matter?  What about the Premier apologising for claiming that ‘only last week was caught live baiting’?