VIC – VRT Hearing – Michael Hughes

09 December 2019

On 29 November 2019, the Victorian Racing Tribunal (VRT) considered a charge issued by Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards against licensed trainer Michael Hughes under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1).

AHRR 190(1) reads as follows:

A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.

The charge related to a urine sample collected from the horse ‘Just Believe’ after it won Race 2, the ‘Aldebaran Park Vicbred Super Series 3YO Silver Trot (Group 3)’, at the Tabcorp Park Melton harness racing meeting on 5 July 2019. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported the sample contained arsenic in excess of the allowable threshold.

Mr Hughes pleaded guilty to the charge before submissions on penalty were heard from the HRV Stewards and Mr Hughes.


Mr Hughes was fined $3000, with $2250 of that fine suspended for a period of 12 months.

VRT Panel: Judge John Bowman (Chairman), Magistrate John Doherty and Mr Greg Childs

The written decisions of the VRT can be found here.

(Please note that VRT Decisions will generally be published within 7-10 days of the date of hearing)