Non Raceday Inquiry – Decision dated 1 October 2021 – Janine McCook

ID: RIB5043

Respondent(s):
Janine McCook - Trainer

Applicant:
Mr David Wadley - Stipendiary Steward, RIB

Adjudicators:
Prof G Hall

Persons Present:
Nil - on the papers

Information Number:
A15952

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Greyhound weighed 1.7kg above its last race weight

Rule(s):
45.11

Plea:
Admitted

Animal Name:
SPRING ARMOUR

Code:
Greyhound

Race Date:
16/08/2021

Race Club:
Christchurch Greyhound Racing Club

Race Location:
Addington Raceway - 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, 8024

Race Number:
R11

Hearing Location:
On the papers

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Licensed Public Trainer Janine McCook is fined $300

DECISION OF ADJUDICATIVE COMMITTEE

[1] Information No. A15952 alleges a breach of r 45.11 of the GRNZ Rules of Racing in that SPRING ARMOUR weighed in at 32.7 kg, which was 1.7 kg above its last race weight on 16 August 2021.

[2] Rule 45.11 provides: “Where the weight of a Greyhound recorded at a Meeting varies by more than one and a half (1.5) kilograms from the weight recorded in a Race in which it last performed that Greyhound shall be permitted to compete in the current Race but the Trainer of the Greyhound shall be guilty of an Offence unless permission has been granted under r 45.12.”

[3] The Respondent, Mrs Janine McCook, is a Licensed Public trainer under the Rules.

[4] On 7 September 2021 Mrs McCook had SPRING ARMOUR engaged in Race 11 at Christchurch Greyhound Racing Club.

[5] SPRING ARMOUR was weighed twice with both recorded weights being the same, 1.7 kgs up.

[6] The three previous charges for Mrs McCook in the preceding 120 days were:

• 7 September 2021 – Christchurch GRC – HARKER HUSTLER – fined $150.

• 27 July 2021 – Christchurch GRC – TIGGERLONG PAT – fined $150.

• 27 July 2021 — Christchurch GRC — ADELPHI – fined – $100.

[7] With the consent of the parties, the matter was heard on the papers. Mrs McCook has admitted the charge and it is found to be proved.

Penalty submissions

[8] Mr Wadley stated that the racing public relies on dogs racing at their optimum weights and get frustrated when Greyhounds they may follow to bet on are presented to race outside their normal race weights. This causes the Industry to appear unprofessional at times.

[9] The Informant submitted that a breach of r 45.11 is generally dealt with by way of a Minor Infringement Notice (MIN) for the first three breaches. On the fourth breach an Information is completed and is submitted to an Adjudicative Committee for consideration.

[10] Breach one receives a MIN and a fine of $100. Breach two within 120 days receives a MIN and a fine of $150, while breach three receives a MIN and a fine of $150 (or referral to an Adjudicative Committee) under r 66.5(e).

[11] Mr Wadley identified as relevant precedents the following decisions:

• RIU v J McInerney, 3 September 2020, fourth breach, fined $300.

• RIU v J McInerney, 14 October 2020, fourth breach, fined $550, reduced to $300 on appeal.

• RIU v L Cole 2 July 2021, fourth breach, fined $350.

• RIU v Agent/Williams 11 July 2021, fourth breach $300.

• RIU v Agent/Williams 4 August 2021, fourth breach $350.

[12] The Informant concluded his submissions by noting that the RIB had historically suggested a starting level of $300 for the fourth breach of r 45.11, and that this was “the suggested starting point in this instance.”

[13] Mrs McCook informed the RIB on 29 September, by way of email correspondence, that she did not wish to make any penalty submissions.

Decision

[14] Information A15952 alleges a breach of r 45.11. If the weight of a Greyhound recorded at a meeting varies by more than 1.5 kg from the weight recorded in a race in which it last performed, the Trainer of the Greyhound is guilty of a breach of the Rules. SPRING ARMOUR weighed 31.0 kg when the dog raced on 16 August and weighed 1.7 kg above this weight when weighed on 7 September. SPRING ARMOUR was weighed twice, as per normal procedure.

[15] A breach of r 45.11 is generally dealt with by way of a MIN and penalties for such breaches are specified within the Sixth Schedule of the GRNZ Rules of Racing pursuant to r 62.3(b). The Schedule provides for a first breach of the Rule within the 120-day reset period to be dealt with by way of a $100 fine; a second breach, a $150 fine; and a third breach may either be dealt with by a Stipendiary Steward or he/she may lodge an Information and refer the matter to an Adjudicative Committee in accordance with r 66.5(e). A fourth breach is to be referred to an Adjudicative Committee, as in this instance.

[16] Mr Wadley is correct when he states that persons investing on Greyhound Racing expect dogs to race at their optimum weights. This Committee observes that this is a matter that reflects upon the integrity of the Industry.

[17] The comparator cases identified by the Informant demonstrate that fines in the range of $300 to $350 have been imposed in circumstances similar to this case. There is nothing before this Committee to the effect that the Respondent has previously committed a fourth breach of r 45.11 within the specified time frames; ie that she is a repeat offender. Thus, it is treated as a first (fourth) breach of the Rule.

[18] Having regard to the difficulties that the Covid-19 lockdown had placed on participants in each of the Racing Codes at the time of the breach, a penalty at the bottom of the $300 to $350 range is appropriate in this case.

[19] Mrs McCook is fined the sum of $300. There is no order for costs.

Dated at Dunedin this 1st day of October 2021.

Geoff Hall, Chairman

Decision Date: 01/10/2021

Publish Date: 04/10/2021