GRNSW Stewards Act Over Cawbourne Bolt Positive Swab

GRNSW have today announced that they will hold an inquiry into the analyst’s finding of a prohibited substance in the urine sample taken from Cawbourne Bolt after that greyhound won at the Wentworth Park meeting on 7 November 2009.

GRNSW have informed Australian Racing Greyhound that the inquiry will be conducted at the Greyhound Racing NSW Offices on Tuesday 23 February 2010, commencing at 10 am.

Fields and form guides at the time all showed the registered tranier to be Andy Lord. Lord has not long resumed the role as primary trainer after partner Jodie Gilbert received a 12 month disqualification for a positive swab in another Cawbourne dog, Cawbourne Tuf. That 12 month disqualification was however reduced to just 4 months on appeal and Gilbert will be free to resume training on 3rd March 2010.

Gilbert had previously been the centre of a stewards inquiry in to a cocaine positive in a greyhound from a Wentworth Park race some years ago and many industry insiders are of the belief that this inquiry will again try to demonstrate the presence of an illegal stimulant in a greyhound. Others are speculating that there may be some confusion from the regulators as to who the registered trainer was on the night in question..

The fact GRNSW have not named the substances involved nor the trainers or other industry participants who are the target of the inquiry has merely added fuel to the rumour mills and might be seen as a blow to GRNSW, who have previously worked hard to be transparent with racing integrity issues since taking over control from the GHRRA.

Since returning from a brief foray in to greyhound training in New Zealand, Lord has been unstoppable at country tracks like Canberra, where training half the entire card had become customary, and that form was transposing to TAB tracks such as Bulli and Wentworth Park, where many were tipping he would again be the leading metropolitan trainer.

However, it is understood that Lord may, or already has claimed, that the greyhound was no longer under his care as trainer at the time of the race in question. In fact Cawbourne Bolt never started in another race in Australia after the Wentworth Park win on 7th November 2009, before appearing in New Zealand for a race on the 4th December 2009.

It begs the questions –

  • When did the kennel return go in stating that Cawbourne Bolt had changed kennels?
  • If there was a change of registered trainer, why was this not conveyed in the form guides or by other announcement to the public?
  • If, is as alleged, that the dog was not handled by Lord or his kennel staff, why was no mention made of the fact that written authorisation was given to another by the new registered trainer, as is required by NSW greyhound racing rules?
  • Why has GRNSW not made public who the registered trainer of the dog was on the night of the positive swab?
  • Why do GRNSW choose not to identify the substances involved or the focus of stewards inquiries in their media announcements?

One thing is for sure, this inquiry will raise more questions than answers. Hopefully it will not lead to integrity issues that will remind many of the “The Potter Years” in NSW greyhound racing.

Editors Note: GRNSW have contacted Australian Racing Greyhound and stated their policy is always to not name trainers or the substances involved with regard to upcoming steward inquiry announcements. The article has been changed to acknowledge this is their current policy.

Perhaps it is a policy they might seek to review with inquiries such as this demonstrating why it is important to name those who are the focus of the inquiry.