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Non-Raceday Inquiry - GD Innes


MR INNES was charged with a breach of Rule 1004 (2.)


Rule 1004 (2.) provides:

“When a horse which has been brought to any racecourse or similar racing facility for the purpose of engaging in any race trial to which the fifth appendix hereto applies is found by any tribunal conducting an inquiry to have had administered to it or have had present in its metabolism any prohibited substance,

The Chairman advised those present that his Colleague for this hearing Mr RG McKenzie was unable to attend due his flight being fog bound in Christchurch, but a JCA PANEL to hear any charge or charges has a quorum of one – neither party had any objection to the Chairman proceeding alone.


Mr Williams’ attendance at the hearing was not as a Legal Representative for MR INNES, he was a Lay Person and a Stable client of MR INNES and was there to assist MR INNES if and when he saw fit to do so.  Mr McKenzie had no objection to Mr Williams presence nor his participating in proceedings.



MR INNES was charged with a breach of Rule 1004 (2.)


Rule 1004 (2.) provides:

“When a horse which has been brought to any racecourse or similar racing facility for the purpose of engaging in any race trial to which the fifth appendix hereto applies is found by any tribunal conducting an inquiry to have had administered to it or have had present in its metabolism any prohibited substance, capable of affecting its speed, stamina, courage or conduct, the trainer and any other person who in the opinion of any Tribunal conducting an inquiry was in charge of such horse at any relevant time commits a breach of these rules unless he satisfies the Tribunal that he had taken all proper precautions to prevent the administration or presence of such prohibited substance.”.


The rule was read and those present acknowledged they understood same.


 MR INNES was charged with a breach of Rule 1004 (2) of the Rules of Racing namely that the horse O’MORGAIR was brought to the Racecourse at Trentham for the purpose of engaging in the Trentham Gardens Handicap at the Meeting of the Wellington Racing Club on Saturday the 5th April 2008, (in which said race such horse started) AND THAT such horse had had administered to it a prohibited substance, namely Procaine, capable of affecting its speed, stamina, courage or conduct in breach of Rule 1004 (2) AND THAT  MR INNES was the Trainer of the horse AND THAT by virtue thereof MR INNES is liable to the penalty or penalties which may be imposed upon him pursuant to Rule 1004(3) of the New Zealand Rules of Racing unless he satisfies the Committee that he had taken proper precautions to prevent the administration of such prohibited substance.


Mr McKenzie advised those present that permission had been sought and given by the Chief Executive to proceed with the prosecution, in accordance with Rule 1103 (4)(d).  A letter from the Chief Executive Mr Paul Bittar dated 27th May 08 was tabled verifying same.


The Racecourse Inspector  presented a summary of facts.  The essential facts can be summarised as follows.



O’MORGAIR is a 4 year old brown gelding, which is trained at Opaki by Licensed Trainer Mr Gerald INNES.  The horse is owned by Mr INNES but at the time of this matter was also part owned by Mr N Duin.


O’MORGAIR was started in Race 8 in the Trentham Gardens Handicap 1400 metres at the Wellington Racing Club Meeting run at the Trentham Racecourse on Saturday the 5th April 2008.  The horse won the race and was then taken to the Swabbing box for swabbing.


The horse was accompanied to the swab box by Mr Peter Jeffcoat, who is the Course Caretaker for the Masterton Racing Club.  He had travelled to Trentham with MR INNES to assist him that day and represented the owners in the swabbing operation.  The swabbing was carried out in accordance with the directives of NZTR with the collection of the urine sample and the relative documentation attended to before the sealing of the samples for dispatch to New Zealand Racing Laboratory Services.  The urine sample collected from O’MORGAIR was issued with Swab Card Record Number 06498. This was produced as an exhibit.


It should be noted that after the urine had been obtained from the horse, Mr Jeffcoat went into the clinic to observe the sealing of the swabs and sign the necessary portions of the Swab Card.


However when the Veterinarian was sealing the samples into the numbered Security Satchel he noticed that Mr Jeffcoat had not signed all the swab card portions.


He was then required to remove the samples and control sample from that Security Satchel, have Mr Jeffcoat sign the cards and then reseal the samples, control sample and swab card into a new numbered security satchel.  This was all done while Mr Jeffcoat was in the room.


When interviewed and a statement obtained from him, Mr Jeffcoat confirmed all of the actions of the Veterinarian.


On 16th April 2008, the NZTR official Racing Analyst, by way of a certificate of analysis identified that the urine sample NZTR 06498 was received in the laboratory with all seals intact on 8 April 2008 and was given laboratory number 08/2449.  His findings were that the urine sample contained, Procaine.  The control sample was negative.


Procaine is a prohibited substance as defined under Rule 105 of the New Zealand Rules of Racing and Dr Andrew Grierson, New Zealand Veterinary Consultant for New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing confirmed that in a written opinion – which was produced to the hearing.


On 17 April 2008, Racecourse Inspector Mr B P Bevage accompanied by Racecourse Inspector Mr B McKenzie went to the training premises of Mr G INNES at Opaki to speak to him about the Analyst’s finding.  MR INNES was advised of the positive swab and given a copy of the Certificate of Analysis. (Previously produced.)


MR INNES expressed surprise and denied having any knowledge of how the horse O’MORGAIR could have returned a positive sample.


He stated that at no time in the Racing Career of O’MORGAIR had he ever been given any Procaine.  He was aware of the drug Procaine and was aware of the withholding period of 28 days.


He further stated that the last date that any horse in his stables had been given Penicillin containing Procaine was on the 19th October 2007.  This had been given by himself to the horse “LOVELY HONEY”.  She had been given 3 doses of 25mls after which he said that nothing remained of the Penicillin.


The only product that MR INNES stated had been given to O’MORGAIR by him leading up to the race in question was on the Thursday prior to the race at Trentham when he gave it 10mls of “Ration Plus” an herbal supplement.  This would have been administered by way of a syringe into the mouth of the horse.


An inspection was then made of the racing stables of MR INNES.  Amongst other items, a container labelled “Ration Plus” was located in the stable complex.  This container and a syringe found along side it (and a small number of other items) were photographed and removed for analysis.


Photographs of the gear room and stables were produced and shown to those present.  MR INNES was shown the photographs and confirmed that they were photographs taken at his property.


MR INNES supplied a written statement and a copy of that was read and produced as an Exhibit.


While at the Stables MR INNES’S Veterinarian came to the premises.  He claimed that at no time had he treated O’MORGAIR with anything that would give a positive to Procaine.  He could not recall having used Procaine at those stables over the last six months or so.


Blood samples were taken from O’MORGAIR at that time.


The “B” sample of urine taken on the race day in question was forwarded by the New Zealand Racing Laboratory Services to the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory for Confirmation of their result.  On the 7 May 2008 that Laboratory confirmed that the “B” sample had tested positive to Procaine.


This exhibit was produced at the hearing.


On the 18th April 2008 Racecourse Inspector Mr B McKenzie delivered to the NZ Racing Laboratory six exhibits taken from MR INNES’S stables as well as the blood tubes taken from the horse.


On the 6th May NZTR received an analytical report from the laboratory.  This report revealed that Procaine had been found in two of the syringes that had been located at MR INNES’S stables.  including the syringe that he had used to administer the Herbal supplement “Ration Plus” to O’MORGAIR.


This exhibit was produced.


On the 14th May the Racecourse Inspectors returned to speak to MR INNES at his property.  He was advised the “B” Sample of urine had been tested by the Australian Laboratory and had been found positive and he was also advised of the results of the exhibits.  He was supplied copies of both laboratory reports.



Mr INNES admitted the breach of Rule 1004(2) and therefore the charge was found proven.


It is accepted by this tribunal that Mr INNES did not deliberately by himself or with another person administer wilfully the prohibited substance Procaine to O’MORGAIR and that any administration was inadvertent.

Nevertheless, the detection of a drug in a thoroughbred which has competed in and won a race is a serious matter.  It is detrimental to the industry and erodes public confidence in racing.  MR INNES, as the person responsible for the horse and for producing it at the races free of prohibited instances and for the stables from which the horse is trained, has accepted his responsibility under the Rules.

The Primary concern when determining penalty to be imposed is the maintenance of the integrity of thoroughbred racing and indeed the racing industry as a whole.

Any penalty must show disapproval and a message to others that horses competing in any race must be presented drug free and be seen to compete on an even playing field, it is the responsibility of “License Holders” to see that the integrity of thoroughbred racing is maintained.

Mr McKenzie commented on a series of cases since 2002 involving prohibited substances.  He submitted on behalf of NZTR, that in this case a fine of not less than $4,500.00 would be appropriate together with an order for costs incurred by NZTR of $2,200.00, (which includes the analytical costs of the second sample sent to Australia for confirmatory analysis of the presence of the prohibited substance Procaine), together with any cost incurred by the JCA.

Mr INNES said that as the horse when racing in the said race was in his sole ownership he would be losing all of the stake on the disqualification of O’MORGAIR.  The Chairman pointed out that the loss of any stake money could not be brought into account when arriving at any penalty.  In reality no stake money had been properly earned within the Rules of Racing because the horse had run in breach of the Rules.

Mr Williams on Mr INNES’S behalf asked the Committee to take into account Mr INNES’S very good record in that as a Licensed Trainer for 23 years he had never been charged under any of the rules of racing.

Mr INNES’S very good record together with his co-operation with authorities is noted and reflected in the quantum of penalty.

Taking into account all of the foregoing a fine of $4500.00 is imposed.


As a consequent of the finding that the charge is proven, and as per the provisions of Rule 1004 (1), the disqualification of O’MORGAIR from the Trentham Gardens Handicap run at Trentham Racecourse on the 5th of April 2008 is confirmed.  The placings are amended accordingly.



The costs sought by Mr McKenzie of $2200.00 on behalf of NZTR are appropriate and therefore awarded to NZTR.  The costs payable to the JCA are $750.00 which are minimal due to a one person panel.

It is also ordered that the two percentage payments paid by NZTR in respect of the stake money for the aforementioned race be refunded to NZTR.

The payments were made to:

Mr INNES as trainer $750.00 + GST and

Mr D Walsh as rider $375.00 + GST.

Collectively they amount to $1265.63 inclusive of GST.

Both amounts are to be refunded to NZTR by Mr INNES.





BP Holland


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