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RNSW stewards' fine two Randwick trainers for Covid 19 breaches

Racing NSW Stewards' on Tuesday conducted hearing of charges issued against licensed trainers John Thompson and Craig Carmody  for breaches of Racing NSW COVID-19 Protocols and NSW Health Orders. Both Mr Thompson and Mr Carmody were assisted by Mr Christian Bova Barrister and Mr John Anderson Barrister, instructed by Mr Kevin Shum.

Charges

Mr Thompson was charged with the following offences.

1. AR 228 Conduct detrimental to the interests of racing.
• Attending Randwick racecourse between 2 August 2021 and 7 September 2021 in breach Racing NSW policies and protocols.
• Having attended Randwick race meetings on 21 August 2021 and 4 September 2021 in breach of Racing NSW policies and protocols, and NSW Health Orders.

Plea: Guilty

2. AR 233 Breach of Racing NSW Policy
• Attending Randwick racecourse between 2 August 2021 and 7 September 2021 in breach Racing NSW policies and protocols.
• Having attended Randwick race meetings on 21 August 2021 and 4 September 2021 in breach of Racing NSW policies and protocols.

Plea: Guilty

Mr Carmody was charged with the following offences.

1. AR 228 Conduct detrimental to the interests of racing.
• Attending Randwick racecourse between 2 August 2021 and 7 September 2021 in breach Racing NSW policies and protocols.
• Having attended a number of race meetings during July and August 2021 in breach of Racing NSW policies and protocols, and NSW Health Orders.

Plea: Guilty

2. AR 233 Breach of Racing NSW Policy
• Attending Randwick racecourse between 2 August 2021 and 7 September 2021 in breach Racing NSW policies and protocols.
• Having attended a number of race meetings during July and August 2021 in breach of Racing NSW policies and protocols.

Plea: Guilty

Penalties

Stewards considered the following matters in respect to penalty for John Thompson:

1. Guilty Plea at earliest opportunity and contrition displayed.
2. Personal and professional circumstances.
3. Good record.
4. Stewards were satisfied that the breaches were not intentional breaches or a wilful disregard to the policies. Further that Mr Thompson had failed to act diligently by informing himself of the policies set by Racing NSW and NSW Health Orders.
5. Stewards were also satisfied that Mr Thompson genuinely believed that he was complying with Racing NSW Policies and NSW Health Orders as he was undertaking regular Covid-19 tests (as required for authorised workers) and obtaining Government travel permits.
6. Principles applied by Stewards when issuing penalties as a protective order.
7. Relevant circumstances of this case.

Stewards determined that the appropriate penalty for each offence was a fine of $25,000 reduced to $18,750 for Mr Thompson’s guilty plea. Having regard to the principles of totality, considering both charges were for the same conduct, Stewards determined that the total fine issued to Mr Thompson be $18,750.

Stewards considered the following matters in respect to penalty for Craig Carmody:

1. Guilty Plea at earliest opportunity and contrition displayed.
2. Personal and professional circumstances.
3. Good record.
4. Stewards were satisfied that the breaches were not intentional breaches or a wilful disregard to the policies. Further that Mr Carmody had failed to act diligently by informing himself of the policies set by Racing NSW and NSW Health Orders.
5. Stewards were also satisfied that Mr Carmody genuinely believed that he was complying with Racing NSW Policies and NSW Health Orders as he was undertaking regular Covid-19 tests (as required for authorised workers) and obtaining Government travel permits.
6. Principles applied by Stewards when issuing penalties as a protective order.
7. Relevant circumstances of this case.

Stewards determined that the appropriate penalty for each offence was a fine of $25,000 reduced to $18,750 for Mr Carmody’s guilty plea. Having regard to the principles of totality, considering both charges were for the same conduct, Stewards determined that the total fine issued to Mr Carmody be $18,750.

Relevant Rules

AR 228 Conduct detrimental to the interests of racing

A person must not engage in:
(a) conduct prejudicial to the image, interests, integrity, or welfare of racing, whether or not that conduct takes place within a racecourse or elsewhere.
AR 233 Other misconduct offences
A person must not:
(a) breach a policy, regulation or code of practice published by Racing Australia or a PRA;

In other news the Stewards conducted an inquiry into the analysts finding of phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazone in a pre-race blood sample taken from Expat prior to running at the Randwick race meeting on 17 July 2021. Evidence was taken from Mr Mark Newnham, trainer of Expat, Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley and Racing NSW General Manger – Veterinary Services Dr Toby Koenig.

The evidence was unable to conclusively establish how of phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazone was found to be present in the sample. However, it was determined the most likely cause was contamination from a horse stabled adjacent to Expat in the lead up to 17 July 2021, that had been treated with phenylbutazone.

Charge

Mr Newnham was charged with the following offence.

AR240(2) – Presented Expat to race at the Randwick race meeting on 17 July 2021 and a pre-race blood sample was found to contain the prohibited substances phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazone.

Plea: Guilty

Penalty

Stewards issued the following penalty having considered the following relevant matters;
1. Guilty Plea
2. Personal and professional circumstances.
3. This was Mr Newnham’s first breach of the Rules of Racing in over 5 years of training.
4. Principles applied by Stewards when issuing penalties.
5. Relevant circumstances of this case.
Mr Newnham was fined the sum of $5000.

Expat

Under the provisions of AR240(1) Stewards disqualified Expat from its 8th placing in Race 9 – Tax Today Handicap conducted at Randwick on 17 July 2021 and amended the placings to read.

02. Vitesse 1st
07. Think Free 2nd
04. Monegal 3rd
11. Daphne Jean 4th
10. Exotic Ruby 5th
13. Eight Diamonds 6th
09. Steel Diamond 7th
06. Helga 8th
14. Fortune Seeker 9thT J Vassallo
S G Railton
Stewards: M F Van Gestel (Chairman)

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