Thursday 31st August 2023.

STEWARDS INQUIRY-Trainer Mr. L. O’Neill (Lady In The Sky NZ.)


Panel: T.T. Styles, S. Ewen, I. Devitt.

Called to inquiry trainer Luke O’Neill.

On Thursday 31st August 2023 Harness Racing South Australia Stewards conducted an inquiry into a report from Racing Analytical Services Ltd. which had detected the presence of the prohibited substances Dexamethasone and Salbutamol in the urine sample collected from LADY IN THE SKY NZ following its win in Race 5 the 2023 ALDEBARAN PARK VICTOR HARBOR TROTTERS CUP which was run at Victor Harbor on Sunday 9th April 2023. After the initial finding from RASL the confirmation was provided by the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory.

At today’s inquiry Mr. Luke O’Neill provided evidence in respect to the treatment of -Champagne Prince a horse in his stable with a condition requiring treatment prescribed on Veterinary advice with Dexamethasone and Salbutamol being administered by a Nebuliser. 

On Saturday 8th April 2023 he directed a staff member to administer the treatment however he believed that an error in identifying the horse requiring treatment had resulted in Lady In The Sky receiving the treatment.

An examination of the Logbook confirmed the Veterinary advice, times of treatment for Champagne Prince and it supported the analytical reports plus a report from Dr. D. Sims BVSC. HRSA Consultative Veterinary Surgeon as to the detection of the Prohibited Substances in the sample.

After taking all matters into consideration Stewards issued a charge in accordance with AHRR 190 (1), (2) and (4), the particulars of the charge were, that as the Trainer of Lady In The Sky NZ. you did present the mare to race at Victor Harbor on Sunday 9th April 2023 in Race 5 the 2023 ALDEBARAN PARK VICTOR HARBOR TROTTERS CUP when not free of prohibited substances.

Mr. O’Neill pleaded guilty to the charge.

Prior to hearing submissions on penalty from Mr. O’Neill he was made aware that whilst Stewards had only issued one charge, they would be giving consideration to the fact that Two (2) prohibited substances were detected in the sample.

Following the address on penalty from Mr. O’Neill and giving due consideration to his previous breach of the Rules relevant to prohibited substance offences the penalty imposed for the charge.

Breach of AHRR 190 (1),(2) and (4) a Fine of $5,000.

Mr. O’Neill was also advised that he pay $250 to HRSA towards the cost of the confirmatory analysis of the sample. AHRR 310(1).

Furthermore, in accordance with AHRR 195 LADY IN THE SKY NZ. be disqualified from the race and HRSA would amend the placings. The race also provided a Trophy to the Winner, and this is also forfeited.

Mr. O’Neill was advised of his appeal rights against the decisions of the Stewards.

 T Styles

Chair of Stewards