In the wake of Thursday nights 2008 Melbourne Cup controversy, Australian Racing Greyhound has become aware that GRV Stewards may have plans to convene further inquiries concerning licensed greyhound trainers Seona Hood, her de facto partner Jason Thompson and Darren McDonald.
According to our sources, GRV Stewards have spent the past two days busily gathering evidence to help them with the already announced inquiry in to alleged incidents in the kennel block area at the conclusion of races 8 and 9. It now appears that in respect of that inquiry, GRV Stewards will allege that both Jason Thompson and Darren McDonald became involved in a physical altercation in and around the kennel block adjacent to the washbay area at the conclusion of Race 9; a race won by Darren McDonald that also saw the Jason Thompson trained greyhound Proven Chayse charged with marring.
Contrary to some reports though, our sources say that no GRV Stewards were injured or physically involved in separating the fracas; and that the two protagonists stopped their physical engagement of their own accord.
No date has so far been set for that inquiry, but any licensed person found guilty of the physical assault of another during a race programme could well look forward to a very lengthy disqualification; as GRV Stewards will likely take the view that this type of schoolyard behaviour has no place on a greyhound race track.
And if Seona Hood and Jason Thompson thought that GRV Stewards actions in to their comments and conduct behind the boxes immediately following the 2008 Melbourne Cup Final would end with the warnings handed out at the time, they look like being very wrong.
Australian Racing Greyhound sources believe that part of the GRV’s ongoing investigations in to the 2008 Melbourne Cup controversy have also centred around gathering more evidence to decide whether further action needs to be taken in regards to the Pearcedale de facto couple’s behaviour. According to our sources both Hood and Thompson look like fronting seperate inquiries in to their conduct, with Thompson likely to also face another inquiry in to his confrontation with GRV CEO John Stephens. If that were to happen, it would be highly likely Stephens would be called by GRV Stewards to give evidence against Thompson.
No dates have so far been set for any of the 2008 Melbourne Cup controversy inquiries and the GRV are as yet unable to disclose the extent of those inquires, the individuals to be named to appear or the alleged charges those involved will face.
GRV Stewards are still yet to set a date to hear the inquiry in to El Galo’s positive swab to n-butyl-hyoscine from the 2008 Group 1 Topgun. Thompson could be facing a lengthy disqualification and/or fine from that inquiry in addition to losing the $100,000 to the winner prizemoney that the Topgun offered. As Thompson already has one positive swab against his name in Victorian Greyhound Racing, if he were to be found guilty in the El Galo case it is unlikely he will escape without suspension or disqualification.
As is unfortunately customary in Victorian Greyhound Racing, when a licensed greyhound trainer is suspended or disqualified, the greyhounds in that trainer’s charge are often transferred to the trainer’s spouse or partner allowing them to essentially conduct “business as usual”. The most recent example of this being Peter Hunt’s transfer of his greyhounds to his partner Kylie Hunt. That became necessary when Peter Hunt received a three month disqualification for refusing to attend two seperate GRV inquiries.
However, Jason Thompson as a registered greyhound trainer and registered greyhound studmaster, though his Awesome Lodge stud business; could find himself in a very difficult situation if both he and partner Seona Hood were to receive either suspension or disqualification at the same time as a result of these ongoing inquiries.