CHAMPION stayer Sweet It Is has returned two positive swabs to the prohibited substance caffeine after winning both a heat and final of the Group 1 Duke of Edinburgh Silver Collar in New Zealand earlier this month.
Greyhound Racing New Zealand confirmed the findings on their website on Wednesday morning, with the sample having undergone testing by the New Zealand Racing Laboratory.
Sweet It Is, trained in Victoria by Braden Finn, became greyhound racing’s highest stake earner when she claimed her second Group 1 Sandown Cup in May. Finn then ventured across the ditch with his powerhouse stayer where she broke the track record in her heat of the Silver Collar, running 46.07.
Sweet It Is then returned in the final from box eight with an emphatic performance over the 779-metre trip, smashing her own track record in 45.86.
The win in New Zealand’s most prestigious race took her career earnings to $819,420.
An investigation is now underway by the New Zealand Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) who have stated they will be making no further comments until its investigation is complete.
If found guilty, Finn is facing a disqualification of up to six months and/or a fine of up to $5000, while Sweet It Is will almost certainly be stripped of her Silver Collar title and track record.
Under the Greyhounds Australasia Rules, if Finn is found guilty after the investigation and is handed down a disqualification, the sentence will also be in effect in Australia.
Sweet It Is, which has now won six Group 1 races, has also been scratched from her engagement in Thursday night’s Listed Superstayers at Albion Park, with reserve runner Cyndie’s Magic now gaining a start from box three in pursuit of the $25,900 first prize.
Australian Racing Greyhound’s attempts to contact Finn on Wednesday morning were unsuccessful. However, we will endeavour to bring you all the latest news on this ongoing matter.