Non Raceday Inquiry – Written Reserved Decision dated 25 October 2022 – Murray Neal

ID: RIB11775

Murray Neal - Trainer

Ms G Murrow - RIB Investigator

Hon J W Gendall KC (Chair), Mr L N McCutcheon

Persons Present:
Ms G Murrow

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Non-race Related Charge


340 - Misconduct



Race Date:

Race Club:
Otaki-Maori Racing Club

Race Location:
Otaki Racecourse - Te Roto Road, Otaki, 5512

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Trentham Racecourse

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Trainer Murray Neal is fined $500

1. The Informant charged Mr Neal with a breach of Rule 340, namely Misconduct in relation to his behaviour at the Otaki-Maori Racing Club meeting on 29 September 2022.

2. Mr Neal admitted the breach, advised that he did not wish to be heard at the hearing, instead presenting written submissions in relation to penalty.

3. The offending behaviour occurred after Race 6 when Mr Neal had responsibility, while assisting a Trainer when taking the winning horse for post racing testing in the swab box.  The summary of facts records that Mr Neal had neglected to place a bit back into the horse’s mouth as required.  When presenting the horse at the swab box he appeared to the Swabbing Official to be affected by alcohol.  He failed to remain with the horse, repeatedly leaving the swabbing box and the Swabbing Official had extreme difficulty in controlling the ill mannered horse.  She made a decision to obtain a blood sample.  Mr Neal, using obscene language, exclaimed that this was ridiculous.  Another Swabbing Official asked Mr Neal to hold the horse to enable the sample to be obtained.  He responded in  a further obscene exclamation, being described by the Official as “intoxicated and aggressive”.  He then called the first Swabbing Official a “f….g amateur” and “f….g useless.”  When later spoken to, Mr Neal gave an exculpatory explanation, and said that the “wrong people were in the wrong jobs”.

4. Mr Neal has had no previous breaches of the Rules of Racing.


5. Rule 803, which applies to general breaches of the Rules provides for various sanctions, of disqualification or suspension for up to 12 months, and fines of up to $20,000.

6. Whilst penalties for Misconduct are in the past designed to punish an offender and to reflect the disapproval of authorities, a predominant factor is to deter other Licensees from conducting themselves on racedays (and otherwise) in discreditable and impermissible ways.  In recent times, where Trainers or Jockeys have used insulting, abusive, offensive and obscene language towards Officials, fines of $500, $600, and as high as $1200 (although for a second offence) have followed.

7. Mr Neal has had an extensive lifetime history in the Thoroughbred Industry and would have been well aware of the requirement that he behave with proper regard for his professional obligations.  Mitigating factors include his blame free record, co-operation with the Investigator, the apology and regret he has conveyed in his submissions to the Adjudicative Committee.  The Informant sought only a fine.  The Adjudicative Committee agrees.

8. Mr Neal is fined $500.

Decision Date: 25/10/2022

Publish Date: 26/10/2022