STEWARD’S INQUIRY: L TROTTA – MAMMA KASS

HRSA Stewards have concluded an Inquiry into the circumstances in which analysis of a post-race blood sample taken from MAMMA KASS at Globe Derby Park on Monday 6 March 2023 had detected the substances Meloxicam and Heptaminol.

On Monday 5 June 2023 evidence was heard from Trainers L Trotta and B Harbison (as an Advocate for Mr Trotta). Analytical Certificates from Racing Analytical Services, Melbourne and Racing Science Centre, Brisbane were tendered.

After considering the available evidence, Stewards issued the following charge under Rules HR 190(1), (2) and (4).

That Mr L Trotta, being a Trainer currently licensed by HRSA and, at relevant times, the Trainer of the registered horse MAMMA KASS, did present that horse to contest Race 9 at Globe Derby Park on Monday 6 March 2023 when not free of a prohibited substance.

The particulars of the Charge being;

  1. (i) At all relevant times Mr Trotta was a Trainer licensed by HRSA and bound by the Australian Harness Racing Rules.
  2. (ii) At all relevant times Mr Trotta was the Trainer of the registered horse MAMMA KASS.
  3. (iii) On Monday 6 March 2023 Mr Trotta did present the registered horse MAMMA KASS to contest Race 9 at the Globe Derby Park race meeting.
  4. (iv) Analysis of the post-race (blood) sample collected from MAMMA KASS (V674112) had reported detection of the substances prohibited by the Rules, namely Meloxicam (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory analgesic – antipyretic) and Heptaminol (a cardiac stimulant and vasodilator).
  5. (v) The presence of the prohibited substances was confirmed by laboratories approved by HRSA, being RASL – Certificate of Analysis RS23/04829-B and Racing Science Centre – Certificate of Analysis RSC23-106.

Mr Trotta pleaded guilty to the charge at the earliest opportunity.

The Trainer and his Advocate provided a brief submission on penalty including a preference for a fine. After deliberation, having regard to the HRSA Penalty Guidelines Stewards imposed a fine of $3,500.

In determining penalty Stewards considered several factors including:

– The Trainer’s acknowledgement of the offence, as evidenced by his plea of guilt.

– Mr Trotta’s extended involvement in personal circumstances, including his level of involvement over harness racing of almost 50 years.

– The Trainers previous offence sample history which included a similar offence in 2018.

– The Trainers routine husbandry programme as evidence by a regular diary and the nature of the substance detected, that being of a therapeutic nature, and the absence of evidence to indicate otherwise.

– The Trainer’s routine husbandry programme which included the provision of Meloxicam and Heptaminol was compliant with the Rules and administered outside accepted withdrawal periods.

– Certain specific subjective aspects and circumstances deemed relevant.

– That the penalty announced, considering the substance detected, would send an appropriate message to the industry and its customers that:

(a) the integrity of harness racing, and its product, must be protected;

(b) harness racing is to be conducted on a level playing field;

(c) horses race without the effect of drugs or medication; and

(d) harness racing is conducted to protect the safety and welfare of its horses and its participants.

Mr Trotta was informed of his right to appeal this decision.

DISQUALIFICATION OF THE HORSE

In addition, pursuant to Rule HRR195 Stewards ordered MAMMA KASS (winner) be disqualified from Race 9 – TAB Live Sky Racing Vision Pace conducted at Globe Derby Park on Monday 6 March 2023 and the prizemoney and percentages be repaid to HRSA for redistribution.

The officially amended placings are:

First 7 KAHINA

Second 8 STEINMAN NZ

Third 1 PAY ME INTEREST

Fourth 5 ROCKING WITH CHARM

Acting under Rule 200 (1) and (2) Stewards issued a Direction that the prizemoney (including percentages) earned by MAMMA KASS in the subject race be returned to HRSA in full, for redistribution.

RECOVERY OF COSTS

Under instruction, HRSA Stewards acting under Rules 310 (1) and (2) order that fees of $ 250 be recovered from the Trainer as part-recovery of costs in regard to the issue of the Certificates of Analysis issued by RASL and Racing Science Centre.

GM Loch

Steward HRSA

5 June 2023

Harness Racing SA Ltd