Non Raceday Request for a Ruling – Decision dated 11 November 2021 – Mark John Smolenski

ID: RIB5589

Mark John Smolenski - Trainer

Simon Irving, Investigator for Racing Integrity Board

Russell McKenzie

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Request for Ruling

1004E - Prohibited substance - Disqualification From Race

Request for Ruling:
Disqualification of Sophia Bromac

Animal Name:
Sophia Bromac


Race Date:

Race Club:
Methven Trotting Club

Race Location:
Orari Raecourse - Orari Station Road, Orari, 7992

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
On the papers

Outcome: Determination

Penalty: Sophia Bromac disqualified


The following is the agreed Summary of Facts:

The Respondent, Mark John Smolenski, is a Licensed Public Trainer under the Rules of New Zealand Harness Racing. He is 62 years old and has been a Harness Trainer and Driver since 1984.

SOPHIA BROMAC is a 3-y-o filly (He’s Watching – Life of Luxury) trained and owned by Mr Smolenski. The horse was correctly entered for and presented to race at the Methven TC meeting at Orari Racecourse on 10 October 2021. SOPHIA BROMAC was driven by John Dunn and won Race 7, Methven Panel & Paint Mobile Pace, earning a stake of $5,500.

SOPHIA BROMAC was post-race swabbed (#132901) in the presence of Mr Smolenski who does not contest the swabbing process.

On 26 October, the New Zealand Racing Laboratory Service issued a Certificate of Analysis reporting Phenylbutazone and Oxyphenbutazone was detected in the sample. The control sample was clear.

Phenylbutazone, commonly known as “Bute”, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug commonly used to treat short term pain and fever in horses. Oxyphenbutazone is a metabolite of Phenylbutazone. “Bute” can be prescribed in powder form, paste and is also injectable. It is listed in the NZEVA Veterinarian’s guide as having  a “detection time” of five days and a “possible withholding time” of seven-plus days.

Mr Smolenski was interviewed at his property in Weedons on 27 October. He stated that he had been mixing sachets of “Bute” powder to a yearling’s feed post-gelding and, with his paddock rotation, it was possible that SOPHIA BROMAC had the opportunity to eat some of the gelding’s leftover feed.

Mr Smolenski has consented to SOPHIA BROMAC being disqualified pursuant to Rule 1004E.


Information No. A15809 has been filed by Mr Simon Irving, Investigator for the Racing Integrity Board, seeking a ruling that SOPHIA BROMAC be disqualified from the the race by this Committee.

With the consent of the parties, the Information was heard “on the papers” pursuant to clause 21 of Fifth Schedule, Rules of Practice and Procedure for the Adjudicative Committee and Appeals Tribunal.


Rule 1004E provides:

(1)  Any horse taken to a racecourse for the purpose of engaging in a race which is found to have administered to it or ingested by it a prohibited substance or an out of competition prohibited substance must be disqualified from that race.

(2)  The mandatory disqualification under sub-rule (1) applies regardless of the circumstances in which the substance came to be present in or on the horse.


The Committee is satisfied, firstly, that the Respondent has been advised of the analysis which indicates that a prohibited substance may have been administered to, or ingested by, the horse and, secondly, that the Respondent has not requested that the reserve sample be analysed at an approved laboratory.

The Committee, being satisfied as to those matters, is required to disqualify SOPHIA BROMAC pursuant to Rule 1004E (3).


The Committee rules that SOPHIA BROMAC is disqualified from Race 7, Methven Panel & Paint Mobile Pace, at the meeting of Methven Trotting Club at Orari on 10 October 2021.

Such disqualification is to take effect from the date of this decision pursuant to Rule 1004E (6) & (7).

Consequent upon the disqualification, the amended placings for the race are:

1st     2  Sporty Celine

2nd  10  Arden’s Sweetheart

3rd    7  Senorita Margarita

4th    1  Four Starzzz Shiraz

It is ordered that stakes for the race are to be paid in accordance with that amended result.

Decision Date: 11/11/2021

Publish Date: 12/11/2021