Victorian Racing Tribunal - Vic Gallops - Racehorse TALK harm-plan

Racehorse TALK

Victorian Racing Tribunal - Vic Gallops - Racehorse TALK

Author Topic: Victorian Racing Tribunal  (Read 381 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Arsenal

  • VIP Club
  • Group 1
  • User 194
  • Posts: 16046
O.P. « 2019-Aug-23, 08:18 PM »
The first decision of the VRT is available within days of the hearing on 19 th August media release on the decision dated 23 August no delay in decision making.

Date of hearing:      19 August 2019
Panel:   Judge John Bowman (Chairperson), Magistrate John Doherty (Deputy Chairperson) and Mr. Robert Abrahams
Appearances:    Mr Nicholas Murray and Mr Neale Conder appeared on behalf of the Stewards.
            Mr Damien Sheales appeared on behalf of Mr Craven.
            Mr Matthew Craven appeared as a witness.

Charge:    Australian Harness Racing Rule 149 (2) states “A person shall not drive in a manner which in the opinion of the stewards is unacceptable”.

Particulars of charge:   The particulars of the charge being after driving forward from barrier 5 from the start on Bou Chard and after initially being obliged to race three wide to the outside of Goodtime Junior (Jackie Barker) and Huli Nien (Greg Sugars) into the first turn, Mr Craven then continued to persevere in obtaining the lead until near the 1200m which resulted in an exceptionally fast first quarter of 26.3 seconds being recorded. Thereafter, Mr Craven allowed Bou Chard to stride whilst in the lead, which resulted in the first half of the last mile being recorded in 55.6 seconds. In the opinion of the Stewards, the driving tactics employed by Mr Craven during the early and middle stages of the event were unacceptable and was the main contributing factor in Bou Chard being placed under pressure from the 400m and giving ground to be beaten into last position approximately 47 metres from the eventual winner.

Plea:             Not guilty

DECISION   Having viewed the video of the race and having heard the evidence of Mr. Craven and the submissions on behalf of the parties, the tribunal found Mr. Craven guilty of the charge. In particular, it found the driving tactics of Mr. Craven in failing to give the horse a "breather" after a long and hard battle to get to the front were unacceptable. Bearing in mind Mr. Craven's very good record and the impact of a suspension upon him at this particular time, the Tribunal set aside the period of suspension that had been imposed and ordered that he be fined $2,500.

Mark Howard
Registrar, Victorian Racing Tribunal"


Giddy Up :beer:

Offline Arsenal

  • VIP Club
  • Group 1
  • User 194
  • Posts: 16046
« 2019-Sep-05, 09:34 AM Reply #1 »
Date of hearing:      29 August 2019
Panel:   Judge John Bowman (Chairperson) and Ms Julie Nicholson.
Appearances:    Mr Paul Searle appeared on behalf of the Stewards.
            Mr David Graham (Owner) represented himself at the hearing.

Particulars of charge:   (Stewards report) An Exhibition Trial was conducted by Dusty’s Charlie at Healesville on Sunday 11 August 2019 in the lead up to the National Straight Track Championship on 18 August 2019.
After considering the circumstances surrounding the conduct and nature of the trial, the matter was referred by the Chief Steward to the Healesville Stewards Panel to officially open and hold an inquiry into the performance of Dusty’s Charlie in the trial, with specific regard to Local Rule 39.
39 Trials between Events
39.1 The Board may at any time permit greyhounds to run in a trial in between Events at a Meeting.
39.2 Without limiting LR 39.1 (Vic), any greyhound which runs in a trial in between Events at a Meeting shall be subject to the Rules as if the greyhound was running in an Event. It was found that, in the trial, Dusty’s Charlie failed to pursue the lure as required by Rule 69B.

Plea:             Not Guilty


There is a preliminary question of law in relation to this appeal. Pursuant to section 50X of the
Racing Act 1958 “A question of law arising in a hearing must be decided by the Chairperson or
Deputy Chairperson”. Accordingly, I am Ruling upon it.

The appeal concerns a charge essentially pursuant to LRR Rules 39 (1) and (2). On 11 August 2019 at Healesville a meeting was conducted. Before Race 1 the dog Dusty’s Charlie of which Mr. Graham is the owner, trialled in preparation for the National Straight Track Championships. Without going into details, it did not trial satisfactorily. Again without going through the intervening steps, ultimately a penalty was imposed resulting in the dog being stood down from racing for 3 days and no future nominations would be accepted until Dusty’s Charlie performed a satisfactory trial. The papers were marked accordingly.

It is from this decision that Mr. Graham appeals. Local Rule 39 (1) and (2) provides that greyhounds can run in trials between Events at a meeting and any greyhound which runs in a trial between Events at a meeting shall be subject to the Rules as if the greyhound was running in an Event.

There is no argument but in this case the relevant trial was not run between Events at a meeting. Dusty’s Charlie trialled before the first Event. The Rule is quite clear. It applies to trials between Events at a Meeting. Whatever the purpose of the Rule, that is what it specifically provides.

In the present case the Stewards, for reasons that may have seemed to be adequate, had Dusty’s Charlie trial not between Events at a meeting but before the meeting had started – that is before the First Event. That took it outside the specific wording of the Rule. Whatever occurred, it was not a Trial between Events and therefore not in accordance with the Rules. The Rules are not vague or ambiguous. They are specific.

What then is the effect of this? In my opinion, it means that the behaviour of Dusty’s Charlie did not take place in a trial for the purpose of Local Rule 39 (1) or (2).

I appreciate that the Stewards acted in good faith and for reasons that seemed sound. However, by not having the trial between events, what occurred simply did not fall within the requirements of the Rule.

Amongst other things and without wishing to be too legal, the Latin term of [expressio unius est exclusio alterius] applies – when a thing of a class is expressly mentioned, others of the same class are excluded.

A trial between Events falls within LR 39 (1) and (2). Other trials do not and are excluded. 

In my opinion the situation is not saved by rule 20, and particularly as argued by Rule 20 (3)(v). It allows the Stewards to determine any matter that arises but is not provided for by the Rules. However, what should have occurred here is simple and is provided for by the Rules – relevant trials should be run between Events. I also note that Rule 20 specifically applies to Race meetings, not necessarily to trials. 

Nor does the [Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984] save the day. The Rule in relation to the relevant trials is clear. They are trials run between Events. This one wasn’t. There is no need to turn to the [Interpretation of Legislation Act].

Similarly, the NSW decisions do not persuade me to alter my view. It is not a situation of ambiguity or vagueness needing a common sense interpretation. Rule 39 (1) and (2) are perfectly clear. They apply to trials between Events at the meeting.

Accordingly, my finding is that the Trial involving Dusty’s Charlie on 11 August 2019 was not a trial conducted in accordance with LR 39 (1) and (2).

The appeal is therefore upheld and the penalty is set aside. 

Mark Howard
Registrar, Victorian Racing Tribunal


This is what is missing in QLD quick decision making no long delays in stays of proceedings licensees time out expires before a decision on penalty is made so effectively no penalty apart from a little black mark on the report card.

Giddy Up :beer:

Offline Arsenal

  • VIP Club
  • Group 1
  • User 194
  • Posts: 16046
« 2019-Sep-05, 07:03 PM Reply #2 »
Test looms for new tribunal
Andrew Eddy@fastisheddy
3 September, 2019

James McNamara says he intends walking away from the racing industry, but Victorian racing’s new judicial system means the Koroit hobby trainer might not find it so easy to simply cut his connection with horse racing.
McNamara claimed he will throw away his trainers licence and turn his back on the industry on Monday after he was charged with not permitting one of his horses Hornets' Nest from running on its merits in a hurdle at Casterton in late June.
These charges will be heard by the Victorian Racing Tribunal (VRT) on a date still to be fixed and McNamara could yet be forced to appear to answer questions.
One of the biggest differences between the new judicial body and the old – the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board – the VRT has the power to compel witnesses to appear if so desired.
The RAD Board had no such power as seen only last year with former trainer Robert Smerdon, who refused to attend his RAD Board hearing after handing in his trainer’s licence despite having numerous serious charges against him.
He was eventually banned for life for his role in the Aquanita scandal, but his absence from that hearing and subsequent appeals left a bad taste for many in the industry.
WATCH: Hornets' Nest at Casterton
On Monday, Racing Victoria issued charges against McNamara and jockey Paul Hamblin for not allowing the then 11-year-old Hornets' Nest every opportunity to win the Casterton race.
The stewards alleged Hamblin's riding of Hornets' Nest was contrary to rules in that he failed between approximately the 1200-metre mark and the 800-metre mark to improve his position and maintain contact with the field.
It was also alleged that between approximately the 800-metre mark and jumping the last obstacle, Hamblin did not ride his mount with sufficient vigor to improve their position.
The stewards also allege that McNamara's instructions to Hamblin prior to the race contributed to Hamblin's breach of the rules.
Hornets' Nest, who is now a 12-year-old so is in his final season of racing, has won nine races from 45 starts, including his maiden hurdle in 2014 by 18 lengths.
Nearly six years ago to the day, he contested the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam (Feehan) Stakes, finishing less than three lengths behind the winner Fiorente, who went on to win the Melbourne Cup later that spring.

Crikey why would they pull it up it's 11yo?

Giddy Up :beer:

Offline nemisis

  • Group3
  • User 2461
  • Posts: 840
« 2019-Sep-05, 10:00 PM Reply #3 »
I've been a real Hornet's Nest fan but it has to be said they really over did the 'just having a run" at Casterton.......$11 out to $21 would suggest a few people knew something.

He is only a little fellow and was carrying 74 kgs in the $30k Hurdle at Casterton and no doubt the connections were eyeing the Kevin Lafferty`worth $100k the week after in which he carried 64.5 kgs.

They probably didn't want him to be hammered out or risk getting some more weight  for the target race but Hornet's Nest generally races up on the pace.

You can't help having some sympathy for James McNamara all the same because there are plenty of horses from the big stables having "a run" every week and there seems to be some acceptance of that by stewards.......must have overdone it.

Offline Arsenal

  • VIP Club
  • Group 1
  • User 194
  • Posts: 16046
« 2019-Sep-11, 07:29 PM Reply #4 »
Another set of decisions all three codes included.......most didn't end well for the appellants.....this is the exception as well as the most interesting the case of Ms Hanna Powell whose horse Kissee Mee returned 2 positives due to eating grass contaminated by sewage which contained the prohibited substance from medication used by the trainer's husband.
There is no argument but that Kissee Mee’s contact with the prohibited substance came as a result of eating grass in the area of a septic tank and where there was a sewage overflow. Your husband had regularly taken anti-depressant medication, which contains the prohibited substance. No other cause of the positive return has been suggested by the Stewards and we accept that all of these factors combined to form what Mr Nicholl, on your behalf, called a perfect storm. We accept that you were extremely unlucky and that there was no intention to give the horse any prohibited substance or to try and gain any unfair advantage. As soon as you found out about the positive return, you scratched the horse from its next engagement.
This is a rare case that the Stewards and yourself, with the assistance of Mr Nicholl, all agreed upon the appropriate penalty. That penalty is that a conviction be recorded but with no other penalty imposed.
We agree. We also point out that you will be hit with a substantial penalty by reason of the inevitable disqualification of Kissee Mee from both races. You are the 100% owner of her. This will cost you in excess of $20,000 and spoil what has been one of your most successful years.
In conclusion, we find the charge proven. A conviction, relating to both races, will be recorded, but no other penalty imposed.
Pursuant to AR 177, Kissee Mee is disqualified as the winner of race 4, the Bet365 Racing Cashback 0-58 Handicap at Kyneton on 2 November 2018 and the places amended accordingly.Kissee Mee is also disqualified as the winner of Race 6, the RMBL Investments Handicap at Kyneton on 6 December 2018 and the places amended accordingly.

Giddy Up :beer:

Offline Peter Mair

  • Group 2
  • User 326
  • Posts: 4767
« 2019-Sep-11, 08:07 PM Reply #5 »

Technology decisions -- racing past the 'post 'of insanity

Decisions on race outcomes, that could be declared 'dead heats' -- and would have been a few years ago  -- are now declared with digital technology 'evidence' ... 'showing' a margin not evident to a human eye.

Most of us will cop that 'on the chin' and move on -- akin to a penalty shootout deciding a soccer match.

The boundary of commonsense is being crossed in decisions on 'positive swabs' -- not repeating the stupidity of the 'charge' in this 'on the eaten grass' matter, I recall another.

A leading Sydney trainer was charged with a 'herion' reading tracked to a stable hand 'handling' a contaminated door knob at a local hotel and then 'not washing his hands' before dealing with the horse.

I was at the appeal  hearing  ............... I asked the 'chief tester' -- 'how high was the reading?'  ....       'not enough to fit on the head of a pin' ....... why prosecute? ........ that's the rules!

A substantial fine was 'set aside' but the 'presentation' offense was confirmed.

....... I stopped attending appeal hearings.

Offline napes

  • VIP Club
  • Group3
  • User 29
  • Posts: 841
« 2019-Sep-12, 10:26 AM Reply #6 »
That would have been a relief for all involved!!

Online wily ole dog

  • Group 1
  • User 218
  • Posts: 26392
« 2019-Sep-12, 04:59 PM Reply #7 »
Napes, can you imagine sitting in the same room as the bloke  :lol:

Offline Peter Mair

  • Group 2
  • User 326
  • Posts: 4767
« 2019-Sep-12, 07:23 PM Reply #8 »

............... thanks boys ....... embryonic signs of an alliance .......  uniting to endorse my views is most welcome.