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Kranji trainer penalty varied on appeal to one year disqualification and S$25,000 fine

On Thursday, 11 November 2021, Trainer John O’Hara exercised his Right of Appeal against the severity of the penalty imposed on him at the Stewards' inquiry on Tuesday, 9 November 2021 - summary below.

He subsequently applied for a Stay of Penalty. After giving consideration to the matter on Sunday, 14 November 2021, a Stay of Penalty was granted by the Panel of Stewards.

7          The Appeal Panel’s Hearing of the Appeal was concluded on Thursday, 20 January 2022.

8          After considering all of the evidence together with submissions from Trainer J O’Hara and the Chief Stipendiary Steward, the Appeal Panel dismissed the Appeal against the severity of the penalties imposed on him. However, the penalties were varied on Charges 3, 4 and 6 to twelve months’ disqualification on each Charge to be served concurrently. The Appeal Panel advised Mr J O’Hara be given until 15 February 2022 to finalise all horse and staff transfers but would not be permitted to have any runners during this period. 

9          In summary, Trainer J O’Hara was disqualified for a period of twelve months’ with immediate effect and fined a sum of S$25,000. His deposit was forfeited. 

The stewards ordered the horses trained by O’Hara to be withdrawn from the Saturday, 22 January, 2022 meeting at Kranji.

Summary of Inquiry on Tuesday 9 November 2021:

At the conclusion of the Inquiry on Tuesday, 9 November 2021, Trainer J O’Hara pleaded guilty to the following charge under MRA Rule of Racing 133(m)(ii) in that:

            .5         he was the Trainer who did have in his possession a medication which contained the prohibited substance, Ranitidine, which had not been supplied or approved by the Singapore Turf Club Veterinary Department. Trainer John O’Hara was fined a sum of S$5,000 and was advised of his Right of Appeal.

4          Further, the Stewards inquired into a report from the STC Laboratory that Sample No. 0066503 had been analysed and found to contain Oripavine/Morphine.

5          At the conclusion of the Inquiry on Tuesday, 9 November 2021, Trainer J O’Hara pleaded guilty to the following charge under MRA Rule of Racing 134(3)(a) in that:

            .6         he was the Trainer and person responsible for presenting HIGH VOLTAGE to race in Race 8 at the Singapore Turf Club Meeting on Sunday, 22 August 2021 following which a urine sample taken from the third placegetter, HIGH VOLTAGE, returned positive to Oripavine and Morphine, a prohibited substance under the MRA Rules of Racing. Trainer John O’Hara was fined a sum of S$10,000 and was advised of his Right of Appeal. 
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