Non Raceday Request for a Ruling – Written Decision dated 26 February 2023 – GREEN AEON
Waikato Thoroughbred Racing
Te Rapa Racecourse - Te Rapa Road, Hamilton, 3200
On the papers
Penalty: GREEN AEON disqualified from two races
 This Request for a Ruling was filed by the Racing Integrity Board (RIB) seeking the disqualification of GREEN AEON from its win and second placing in the following two races:
- On 10 December 2022 GREEN AEON won Race 3, the Brokerweb Risk Services, a 1200 metre race at the Waikato Racing Club Meeting at Te Rapa; and
- On 26 December 2022, placed second in Race 5, the Hallmark Stud Handicap, a 1200 metre Listed Race at the Auckland Racing Club Meeting at Pukekohe Park.
 The Respondent Mr Todd Mitchell is the Licensed Thoroughbred Trainer and Part Owner of GREEN AEON.
The Relevant Rules
 Rule 804(1) provides that:
A horse which has been brought to a Racecourse or similar racing facility and which is found by a Tribunal conducting an inquiry to have had administered to it or have had present in its metabolism a Prohibited Substance shall be, in addition to any other penalty which may be imposed, disqualified for any race or trial to which the Third Appendix hereto applies in which it has started on that day.
 Rule 902(2)(viii) empowers an Adjudicative Committee to determine …. all matters submitted to it for judicial determination or for a ruling under these Rules.
 Rule 903 provides that:
Nothing in these Rules shall prevent:
(a) a Stipendiary Steward or Investigator at any time after a Race filing an information that a horse should be disqualified on account of or in connection with a Prohibited Substance….
(b) an Adjudicative Committee from disqualifying such horse if the information is proved and making such resultant orders as it considers required, and as are permitted by these Rules (including orders disqualifying the horse and ordering that any money, prize or trophy already handed over be refunded), but such disqualification or order, if ordered or made after the Official Result of Placings has been declared, shall not in any way affect that Official Result of Placings.
 A Ruling is sought pursuant to Rule 918(b) via Information No. A17968 for the disqualification of GREEN AEON from the two said races, as outlined in paragraph 1.
Out of Scope
 This Adjudicative Committee is not required to determine culpability. That is a matter to be determined following the ongoing investigation which is being carried out by RIB Investigators.
The Hearing – ‘On the Papers’
 The Respondent, Mr Mitchell, is aware of the relevant Rule(s) and consents to the disqualification of GREEN AEON from the two races concerned and has given his consent for this Ruling to proceed on the papers.
The key salient facts are summarised are as follows:
 The Respondent trains the 7-year-old gelding GREEN AEON. He is also a part owner, along with C Cameron and Messrs W Leung and C Orum.
 On 10 December 2022, the GREEN AEON won Race 3, the Brokerweb Risk Services 1200 metre race at the Waikato Racing Club Meeting at Te Rapa. The gross stake money for first place was $28,750.
 On 26 December 2022, GREEN AEON placed second in Race 5, the Hallmark Stud Handicap being a 1200 metre Listed Race at the Auckland Racing Club Meeting at Pukekohe Park. The gross stake money for second place was $18,500.
 GREEN AEON was post-race swabbed on each occasion.
 On 9 January 2023, New Zealand Racing Laboratory Services (NZRLS) issued a Certificate of Analysis detailing the sample obtained from GREEN AEON on 10 December 2022 was positive to the Prohibited Substance – Betamethasone.
 On 20 January 2023, NZRLS issued a Certificate of Analysis detailing that the sample obtained from GREEN AEON on 26 December 2022 was also positive to the Prohibited Substance – Betamethasone.
 Betamethasone is a corticosteroid and is used in horses for control of pain associated with inflammation and osteoarthritis and is a Prohibited Substance (1.2.37) within the meaning of the Rules and its presence in a race day sample is, prima facie, a breach of the Rules.
 On the 12 of January 2023, RIB Investigators carried out enquiries at the Respondents Stables. He advised during his interview that GREEN AEON had returned from Hong Kong with a broken splint bone and had subsequently spent 9 months prior, spelling “out in paddock”. He further advised that veterinary, Dr Rob Hitchcock from Cambridge Equine Hospital had previously treated the horse with a steroid commodity of which he could not recall its name, other than it had previously been used by the vet instead of a similar product named Kenacort A40.
 Subsequent enquiries undertaken with Dr Hitchcock have confirmed that he had treated the horse since July 2022. Included in this treatment was a course of intraarticular medication, Celestone containing Betamethasone.
 The Period of Detection List for NZEVA Veterinarians has the withholding time for Celestone listed as 8 clear days for an intra-articular injection.
 Dr Hitchcock stated – “that a full term of treatment would consist of a range of 18-30ml with him maxing out at 4 x vials per treatment. In consultation with other vet’s posts becoming aware of the positives he has confirmed that some vets have mentioned that they max out at 3 x vials per treatment. He advises that he always advises an 8 clear day rule [intra-articular] and would always administer 9 – 10 days prior to race day.”
 Dr Hitchcock provided the RIB with a copy of the Veterinary Report for GREEN AEON and associated timeline which established that he has attended Mr Mitchell’s Stables and treated GREEN AEON with the intra-articular administration of Celestone on 25 October 2022, 30 November 2022, and 16 December 2022.
 GREEN AEON raced on 10 December 2022 being 12 days post administration on 30th November 2022. It then raced on 26 December 2022, being 10 days post the final administered dosage of Celestone.
 RIB investigations continue into the circumstances of the two positives, including the properties and withholding times for Betamethasone.
 Mr Mitchell consents to the disqualification of GREEN AEON from the two races concerned.
 The RIB therefore seeks a Ruling for the disqualification of GREEN AEON from first place in Race 3 at the Waikato Racing Club Meeting at Te Rapa on 10 December 2022 and second place in Race 5, at the Auckland Racing Club Meeting on 26 December 2022 at Pukekohe Park.
Decision and Reasons
 The Adjudicative Committee rules that GREEN AEON shall be disqualified from both races, namely:
- First place on 10 December 2022 in Race 3, the Brokerweb Risk Services 1200 metre race at the Waikato Racing Club Meeting at Te Rapa; and
- Second place on 26 December 2022, in Race 5, the Hallmark Stud Handicap being a 1200 metre Listed Race at the Auckland Racing Club Meeting at Pukekohe Park.
 In addition, the gross stake money for first place, $28,750, is to be withheld (forfeited) and paid in accordance with the amended placings. And the gross stake money for second place, $18,500, is also to be withheld (forfeited) and paid in accordance with the amended official placings.
 In reaching its decision, the Adjudicative Committee is required to establish that GREEN AEON was brought to a Racecourse or racing facility and was found by the Adjudicative Committee to have had present in its metabolism a Prohibited Substance. The presence of the Prohibited Substance in GREEN AEON’S metabolism at the time of each race is prima facia a breach of the Regulations.
 On the basis of the information provided, which includes evidence that:
- GREEN AEON was correctly entered and brought to the two races, and it is a matter of record that it won and placed second in each of those two races.
- The two Certificates of Analysis provided by NZRLS establish that GREEN AEON was found to have raced on both occasions with a substance Celestone (containing Betamethasone), a corticosteroid deemed by the Prohibited Substance Regulations for the Rules of Racing, to be a Prohibited Substance.
- The information provided to the RIB by the Respondent and the Report of Dr Hitchcock is consistent with the scientific result.
 Neither the presence of the Betamethasone, nor the disqualification, is contested by the Respondent.
 Accordingly, pursuant to Rule 804(1) GREEN AEON did compete in the two said races and was found to have in its metabolism at the time a Prohibited Substance. Therefore, in accordance with this Rule, GREEN AEON shall be disqualified (from both races), and placings amended, and stake money paid in accordance with this Ruling.
 Due to this matter having been uncontested and dealt with ‘on the papers’, there is no order for costs.
Decision Date: 26/02/2023
Publish Date: 27/02/2023