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Non Raceday Inquiry Request for Ruling RIU v S P Doody - Written Decision dated 11 February 2019 - Chair, Mr T Utikere

Created on 12 February 2019




IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing





Judicial Committee: Mr T Utikere (Chairman)

Mrs N Moffatt (Member)

Parties: Mr S Irving (for the RIU)

Mr S Doody (as the Respondent)

Dr L Molloy (Lay Advocate for the Respondent)



[1] The Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) have filed a Request for a Ruling seeking the disqualification of DELIGHTFUL KAS from Race 10 of the Waikato Bay Of Plenty Harness Racing Club’s Meeting on 24 December 2018. They seek the ruling pursuant to Rule 1004D(1) of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing.

[2] The Request for the Ruling cites that the horse in question was “...taken to a racecourse for the purpose of engaging in a race and being found to have administered to it, or ingested by it, a prohibited substance, namely Oxazepam, Temazepam and Nordiazepam”.

[3] The relevant provisions of Rule 1004D state:

(1) Any horse taken to a racecourse for the purpose of engaging in a race which is found to have administered to it or ingested by it a prohibited substance (which includes out of competition prohibited substances) must be disqualified from that race.

(2) The mandatory disqualification under sub-rule (1) applies regardless of the circumstances in which the substance came to be present in or on the horse.


(5) The owner or trainer of the horse subject to a positive result may notify in writing the General Manager of the Racing Integrity Unit that they intend to challenge the analysis and the basis for that challenge. The notification must be within 10 working days of being advised of the results of the analysis, or the result of the reserve sample (if applicable). The Judicial Committee shall then determine whether the horse is to be disqualified after hearing from the parties.

(6) Disqualification and changes of placing under this rule, will take effect from the immediate Monday following the judicial decision or such other time as the Judicial Committee determines.

(7) A disqualification under sub-rules (3) and (4) may not occur until after the 10 working day period in sub-rule (5).

[4] The Committee is in receipt of the Notice of Appointment, a copy of Information A7172 along with the relevant Rule Provisions. The RIU have also submitted a Preliminary Summary of Facts.

[5] The Preliminary Summary of Facts states:

The Respondent Stephen Patrick Doody is a licensed trainer under the Rules of New Zealand Harness Racing (HRNZ). He is 58 years old and has been a harness trainer and driver since 1983.

DELIGHTFUL KAS is a four year old mare trained by Mr Doody and owned by K & S Farrier and A McBeth. The horse was correctly entered for and presented to race at the Waikato Bay of Plenty Harness Incorporated meeting at Cambridge Raceway on 24 December 2018. DELIGHTFUL KAS was driven by Brent Mangos and won Race 10, the Merry Christmas from Cambridge Raceway Mobile Pace, earning a stake of $6270.

DELIGHTFUL KAS was post-race swabbed (#128443) in the presence of Mr Doody who does not contest the swabbing process.

On 16 January the New Zealand Racing Laboratory Service (NZRLS) reported Oxazepam, Temazepam and Nordiazepam was detected in the sample. The control sample was clear.

Oxazepam, Temazepam and Nordiazepam are metabolites of Diazepam (first marketed as Valium for humans) - a calming medicine that is used to treat a range of conditions including anxiety, muscle spasms and seizure. Diazepam affects the central nervous system and is used as a tranquilizer in horses. It also acts as a skeletal muscle relaxant, as a sedative and has anticonvulsant effects. It can be prescribed in pill form and is also injectable.

Mr Doody was interviewed at his training facility at Manawatu Raceway on 22 January. He stated that he had transported DELIGHTFUL KAS and his two trotters up to Cambridge on the morning of the races. He stabled the horses at his associate and fellow trainer Peter Fraser’s property opposite the raceway. Neither he nor either of his two ground staff were taking Diazepam medication and the possible source of the drug was unknown. DELIGHTFUL KAS was swabbed and the sample sent to NZRLS for analysis.

The following day RIU staff attended the property of Mr Fraser in Cambridge. Inquiries revealed that Mr Fraser had been treating his unraced 3yo filly REALLY for Tetanus with vet prescribed ‘Arrow Diazepam’. The pill container was located at the property and Cambridge Hospital vet Ian McKay had administered a course of the drug intravenously commencing 01 October and subsequently continued orally for approximately six weeks.

While being treated REALLY was confined to one of three covered sawdust yards with access to a small grassed paddock. DELIGHTFUL KAS which was in Race 10 was kept in the yard next to where REALLY had been treated with access to the same paddock for approximately four hours. Mr Doody’s trotters, who were not swabbed, were also kept in the same set of yards. Samples were taken from the yards and paddock for analysis.

At this stage it is believed that the probable cause of DELIGHTFUL KAS’ positive has been via contamination through the treated horse.

Mr Doody has been training for 26 years and has no previous charges for breaching the Prohibited Substance Rule.

[6] The Committee issued a Minute to both parties on 29 January. Subsequent to the issue of that Minute, the Committee has determined that it is appropriate to deal with this matter on the papers.


[7] The Committee is satisfied, based on what has been placed before it, that DELIGHTFUL KAS was presented to race, and did race, in Race 10 of the Waikato Bay Of Plenty Harness Racing Club’s Meeting on 24 December 2018. We are also satisfied that based on the sample analysis it was also found to have administered to it, or ingested by it, prohibited substances, namely Oxazepam, Temazepam and Nordiazepam.

[8] We are also satisfied that Mr Doody was advised of the positive result by Mr Irving at 9.00am on 22 January. After being advised of the positive result, the provision of Rule 1004D(5) provides Mr Doody with a 10 working day window to notify, in writing, the General Manager of the RIU if he intends to contest the positive result. The 5th February was final day for the respondent to provide such a written notification.

[9] The Committee is in receipt of written confirmation from the RIU that no such written notification has been received by the General Manager. Mr Irving has also advised the Executive Officer of the JCA that Mr Doody’s Lay Advocate, Dr Leo Molloy, “confirmed in a conversation with Mr Godber on 05 February that he took no issue with the disqualification of 'Delightful Kas' per the new HR Rules (Email from Mr Irving to the Executive Officer of the JCA, for the attention of the Judicial Committee, dated 9 February 2019)”. We are therefore satisfied that the follow up provisions contained in Rule 1004D(5) have not been engaged.

[10] Rule 1004D directs the requirement for DELIGHTFUL KAS to be disqualified from Race 10 of the Waikato Bay Of Plenty Harness Racing Club’s Meeting on 24 December 2018. We also note that the respondent is aware that the disqualification must follow.

[11] There is provision within Rule 1004(8) for the horse concerned to also be liable for a possible period of disqualification not exceeding five years. The Committee declines to exercise that discretion in relation to this Request for a Ruling.


[12] The following orders are made:

A. That DELIGHTFUL KAS is disqualified from Race 10 (Merry Christmas From Cambridge Raceway Mobile Pace 2200m) of the Waikato Bay Of Plenty Harness Racing Club’s Meeting on 24 December 2018. Any financial benefits paid, or to be paid, as a result of DELIGHTFUL KAS’s placing in that race are to be refunded for redistribution in accordance with the amended placings.

B. In accordance with Rule 1004D(6), this disqualification takes effect from Monday 18 February 2019.

Signed at Palmerston North this 11th day of February 2019.

Mr Tangi Utikere


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