Stewards wrap: Participants found guilty in Il Bacaro inquiry

LEADING trainer Anthony Azzopardi is one of five people to have been found guilty by Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) Stewards as a part of the Il Bacaro inquiry.

Azzopardi was the licensed trainer of the greyhounds Il Bacaro and Asa Killa Queen, with the latter mistakenly competing, and subsequently winning, a race at Wentworth Park on December 26, 2015, after it had been incorrectly identified pre-race as Il Bacaro.

The mistake was only picked up during the identification process post-race, resulting in punters who had backed Il Bacaro losing their money.

Azzopardi was charged under GAR 86 (o) for failing to ensure his staff members, Robert Stojanov and Norman Sheppard, presented the correct greyhound for the race. Azzopardi plead not guilty to the charge.

Stojanov was charged under GAR 86 (o) for failing to ensure the right greyhound was presented at Wentworth Park on December 26, 2015, to which he pleaded guilty.

Sheppard was charged under GAR 86 (o) for failing to ensure the right greyhound was presented at Wentworth Park on December 26, 2015, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Wentworth Park identification official Andrew Rowe was charged with a breach of GAR 86(o) for failing to identify the greyhound as Asa Killa Queen prior to the event. Rowe pleaded not guilty.

Wentworth Park identification official Steven Athanassas was charged with a breach of GAR 86(o) for failing to identify the greyhound as Asa Killa Queen prior to the event. Athanassas pleaded guilty.

Despite the varying pleas, Stewards found all five men guilty as charged, with the inquiry adjourned to allow stewards sufficient time to determine a penalty for each charge.

WA trainer Wayne Jacobson in hot water after bad behaviour

Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) Stewards last Friday concluded an inquiry into the conduct of trainer Wayne Jacobson at the Northam greyhound meeting on November 26, 2015.

After considering evidence from a number of parties, Jacobson was slapped with the following six charges at a hearing on January 5, 2016;

1. A breach of GAR 86 (f) (iv) for engaging in improper behaviour towards Mr Renton and Ms Medrano in the kennel area during the race meeting at Greyhounds WA Northam on the 2 December 2015.
2. A breach of GAR 86 (f) (iv) for engaging in improper behaviour towards Mr Renton in the stir up area during the race meeting at Greyhounds WA Northam on the 2 December 2015.
3. A breach of GAR 86 (g) for threatening Mr Renton whilst in the kennel area during the race meeting at Greyhounds WA Northam on the December 2, 2015.
4. A breach of GAR 86 (p) for failing to comply with the lawful order of a Steward during the race meeting at Greyhounds WA Northam on the December 2, 2015.
5. A breach of GAR 86 (f) (iv), for engaging in the use of offensive language towards Mr Singh in the kennel area during the race meeting at Greyhounds WA Northam on the November, 26, 2015.
6. A breach of GAR 86 (f) (iv) for engaging in offensive language towards Ms Bullen in the kennel area at Greyhounds WA Northam on the November, 26, 2015.

The inquiry was adjourned until February 18 to give Jacobson time to consider the charges laid against him. At the resumption, Jacobson pleaded guilty to the second charge and not guilty to all other charges.

After hearing further evidence, Jacobson was found guilty as charged on all six charges.

The inquiry resumed on March 8, 2016, with the following penalties handed down;

Charge 1 – 12 month disqualification
Charge 2 – 6 month disqualification
Charge 3 – 9 month disqualification
Charge 4 – $400.00 fine
Charge 5 – 9 month disqualification
Charge 6 – 12 month disqualification

RWWA Stewards determined that the disqualifications were to be served concurrently, with the 12 month ban effective immediately and expiring on March 16, 2017.

Cobalt detected in two Queensland greyhounds

Des Gilroy fronted Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards on Friday after his greyhound, Mugged On Tour, returned a urine sample which reported a level of Cobalt in excess of the allowed threshold (100 nanograms per millilitre), after it competed at Ipswich on December 29, 2015.

Gilroy was charged with a breach of GAR 83(2) in that he presented his greyhound to race in a state which was not free of a prohibited substance. Despite pleading not guilty, upon considering the evidence, found him guilty as charged.

Gilroy was slapped with an 18 month disqualification, effective immediately, while Mugged On Tour was also disqualified from the race in question.

Also banned for 18 months was trainer George Kadniak who was found guilty of a breach of GAR 83 (2) after his greyhound Your Deal returned a pre-race urine sample showing the presence of Cobalt above the allowed threshold before winning race nine at Albion Park on October 12, 2015.

Your Deal was also disqualified from the aforementioned event.

Woods faces stewards over two positive swab offences

RQ Stewards recently conducted an inquiry into the analyst’s findings of the prohibited substances codeine, morphine and norcodeine in a urine sample taken from the greyhound Dashing Dime after it competed at Ipswich on November 13, 2015.

Stewards charged Dashing Dime’s trainer Bradley Woods with a breach of GAR 83(2)(a) which relates to presenting a greyhound free of a prohibited substance.

Woods pleaded guilty and, after considering his submissions on penalty, stewards imposed a $1,500 fine.

Stewards also disqualified Dashing Dime from the event.

Woods also faced stewards after another one of his greyhounds, Tarmac Black, returned a urine sample which showed the presence of codeine and norcodeine after it competed at Albion Park on September 9, 2015.

Woods was charged with another break of GAR 83(2)(a), to which he pleaded guilty, and was subsequently fined $1,500.

Tarmac Black was disqualified from the race in question.

Christine Pollard fined in Queensland

Christine Pollard has been fined $1,000 by RQ after her greyhound, Paper Shot, returned a positive urine sample to the prohibited substance Procaine when it won at Rockhampton on Wednesday October 21, 2015.

Pollard pleaded guilty to a breach of GAR 83(2)(a) in that she presented the greyhound in a state which was not free of a prohibited substance.

Upon considering the evidence, Pollard was fined the sum of $1,000, with Paper Shot also disqualified from the event in question.

Brad Keel’s sentence changed on appeal

Brad Keel faced the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) recently after Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) Stewards appealed the penalty handed down to Keel by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) on September 21, 2015.

The RADB found Keel guilty of a breach of GAR 830H and 106 (2) after surveillance cameras showed him cocking his arm and bringing it down forcefully behind the starting box as he was preparing to trial a greyhound at Tooradin on December 23, 2014.

Keel had admitted during the original investigation that he had administered a punch or a slap to the dog’s head.

The RADB handed down a disqualification of 18 months, wholly suspended, and a fine of $750.

GRV Stewards found this to be inadequate, subsequently appealing the decision.

Upon considering all evidence and prior cases for similar offences, the VCAT altered the penalty to a period of 18 months disqualification, 15 months of which have been suspended for a period of three years, and a $750 fine.

George Micallef slapped with a fine

George Micallef recently faced Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards, charged with a breach of 83(2) after his greyhound, Melody Grace, returned a positive urine sample to a prohibited substance after it won at Dapto on November 5, 2015.

A post-race urine sample indicated the presence of category five prohibited substance diclofenac, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, with Micallef subsequently pleading guilty as charged.

Stewards imposed a fine of $1,000, with Melody Grace disqualified from the event in question, as well as the final, and the placings amended accordingly.