NSW Stewards Inquiry In To Field Manipulation

New South Wales GHRRA Stewards have announced their intention to hold an inquiry in to the circumstances surrounding the nomination and subsequent scratching of greyhounds from two seperate meetings at Richmond in April.

The inquiry comes as the result of kennel inspections at the registered kennel addresses of NSW greyhound trainers, Wayne Hogan and Allan King.

Those kennel inspections were prompted by the nominations of four seperate greyhounds for middle distance and staying events at Richmond on the 13th April 2009 and 24th April 2009.

At the Richmond meeting of the 13th April 2009 Wayne Hogan nominated three greyhounds as trainer for the meeting with all three nominated for a 618m maiden race. The greyhounds Wally O’Lee, Mistress Girl and Hazza Spot were all subsequently drawn to run from boxes 4,5, and 7 respectively.

Wally O’Lee had not started since Monday 7th July 2008 when a distant sixth in a 347m maiden event at Geelong in Victoria. Wally O’Lee had been subsequently nominated and scratched for a 311m qualifying heat at Cranbourne on the 22nd July 2008 for Victorian trainer L. McGuire.

Wally O’Lee then changed kennels and state and was nominated for a 600m maiden race at Gosford on 10th March 2009, being drawn as reserve for trainer Wayne Hogan. Coincidentally Hogan had also nominated Mistress Girl and Hazza Spot for this event, subsequently scratching both Mistress Girl and Wally O’Lee as being “in season”. Both greyhound received 28 day stand downs. Hazza Spot finished fourth in the event.

Despite the 28 day stand down, Wally O’Lee was nominated and drawn to compete at Canberra on the 22nd March 2009. Again both Mistress Girl and Hazza Spot were nominated for the same event by Hogan, and again both Wally O’Lee and Mistress Girl were scratched due to injury allowing Hogan’s other runner Hazza Spot to start in the race as second reserve. Hazza Spot finshed seventh in the event.

On the 13th April 2009 Hogan again nominated Wally O’Lee for a 618m maiden race, this time at Richmond. Conincidentally both Mistress Girl and Hazza Spot were also nominated by Hogan for the same race and yet again, both Wally O’Lee and Mistress Girl were scratched by Hogan. The same day that nominations closed for that meeting, Wally O’Lee was reported injured at 3:47pm and a 10 stand down imposed; and just a few days later Mistress Girl was also scratched due to injury. Both greyhounds received 10 day stand downs. This time the move paid dividends for Hogan with his remaining runner Hazza Spot successfully winning his maiden at start number 23. Neither Wally O’Lee nor Mistress Girl have started since.

At Bathurast on the 18th April 2009, Hogan nominated his now 5th grade greyhound Hazza Spot for a 700m race, subsequently finishing second behind Top Class Angel. Interestingly though, while Wally O’Lee and Mistress Girl couldn’t be nominated as they were both still maidens, Hogan nominated another greyhound Go The Blitz for the race. Go The Blitz had not raced since the 22nd November 2008 at Lithgow when a distant last over 414m, but had been nominated and subsequently scratched from a Lithgow 610m race on the 31st January 2009. Not surprisingly, Go The Blitz did not start in ther Bathurst race and was scratched, leaving a 4 dog field. Go The Blitz has not started since.

At the Richmond greyhound meeting set down for the Friday 24th April 2009, Hazza Spot was again nominated for a distance race over 717m and again another Hogan runner, Noah’s Mark was nominated for the same event. Noah’s Mark had more recently finished sixth in a Bathurst 520m race, beaten more than 12 lengths and was subsequently scratched from the Richmond race, being pulled out ther day prior due to injury. A 10 day stand down was imposed on the Hogan runner.

In the same event trainer Allan King had nominated Slinky Bond for her first staying test, despite having never run further than 535m and more recently nominating her for a 274m race at Appin on the 28th March 2009. At her last start on the 7th March 2009 at Lithgow, Miss Slinky had run 25.75 lengths last from box 1. Miss Slinky was subsequently scratched the same day as Noah’s Mark due to a seasonal condition and was handed a 28 stand down.

Hazza Spot managed to finish second in the Richmond staying race, with only three greyhounds facing the starter after scratchings, from the original field of 6 drawn to compete in the event.

The penny must’ve dropped at GHRRA HQ as NSW Stewards decided to conduct impromptu kennel inspections at the registered training addresses of greyhound trainers Wayne Hogan and Allan King.

Those inspections have led to Stewards opening an inquiry with regard to the nomination and scratching of both Noah’s Mark and Slinky Bond from the 717m 5th grade race at Richmond on the 24th April 2009. Additionally stewards have extended the inquiry with regard to the nomination and scratching of both Wally O’Lee and Mistress Girl from the Richmond 618m maiden race on the 13th April 2009.

On the face of our preliminary investigations, Hogan particularly should be thankful the inquiry does not also include the Gosford, Canberra and Bathurst races. GHRRA Stewards have suspended the licenses of both trainers using the “under inquiry” rules until the completion of the inquiry.

The date for the inquiry is still to be set.