VIC - Bakers Bandit Identity Inquiry

08 January 2020

Subsequent to the Terang Harness Racing meeting conducted on 15 December 2019, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards reconvened and have finalised a matter concerning the presentation of the horse Bakers Bandit in Race 3 at the aforementioned meeting.

Licensed trainer Stephen Lambert pleaded guilty to a charge under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 239A, being that Mr Lambert was negligent in failing to appropriately inspect and identify the horse named to be Bakers Bandit against its Registration Assessment Certificate (RAC) prior to being presented to compete in Race 3 at Terang on 15 December 2019 and Mr Lambert’s failure to do so contributed to a discrepancy between the freezebrand on the gelding and the details contained within the HRV RAC not being identified until inspected by HRV Stewards immediately prior to the aforementioned race, where Bakers Bandit was subsequently declared a late scratching in accordance with the provisions of AHRR 45.

In assessing penalty, Stewards took into account the following factors:

  • The ultimate onus and responsibility of a trainer to appropriately identify a horse in their care in accordance with the AHRR and the HRV Animal Welfare Framework;

  • That upon subsequent investigation and information provided by the HRV Registration Department, the horse presented by Mr Lambert was ultimately found to be the correct horse in Bakers Bandit and that some evident administrative errors had also contributed to this occurrence;

  • Previous penalties imposed under similar circumstances;

  • Mr Lambert’s guilty plea, cooperation, level of culpability, and long standing unblemished record in the Victorian Harness Racing Industry.

Mr Lambert was fined $500 with $250 of that penalty wholly suspended provided that Mr Lambert does not offend under the applicable rule within the ensuing 2 year period.