Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an Inquiry today into a report received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that 20-hydroxyecdysone was detected in the post-race blood sample taken from CAPTAIN DAN NZ following its win in race 2, the ARNALL TROPHIES PACE (1720 metres) conducted at Penrith on Thursday 13 October 2022.
The ‘B’ sample was confirmed by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria.
Mr Ruggari appeared at the Inquiry and provided evidence in relation to his registered training establishment and the horse CAPTAIN DAN NZ. HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr Martin Wainscott was also present and provided evidence at the Inquiry.
Evidence including the Certificates of Analysis from ARFL and RASL were presented to the Inquiry as well as analytical reports in relation to plant samples obtained by HRNSW Stewards from a paddock in which the horse CAPTAIN DAN NZ was located within Mr Ruggari’s training establishment. The analytical reports confirmed that the substance
20-hydroxyecdysone was present in some of those plant samples.
Mr Ruggari pleaded guilty to a charge issued pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting CAPTAIN DAN NZ to race not free of a prohibited substance, being 20-hydroxyecdysone.
Based on the evidence before the Stewards they were satisfied to the requisite standard that the environmental contamination emanated from plants within Mr Ruggari’s registered training establishment.
In respect of the charge Stewards determined that a conviction would be recorded, however, Stewards did not impose a penalty on Mr Ruggari.
Mr Ruggari was cautioned that he must take all reasonable measures in future to manage his training establishment and horses to ensure that his horses are not exposed to such plants and prohibited substances.
In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following;
- Circumstances involved in this matter;
- The nature of the Prohibited substance;
- The results reported by ARFL and RASL;
- Environmental contamination;
- Mr Ruggari’s licence history, harness racing offence record and other personal subjective facts.
Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, CAPTAIN DAN NZ was disqualified from the abovementioned race.
For further information on this matter contact:
HRNSW Integrity Department
(02) 9722 6655