Trainer accepts fine in a nice way
DESPITE issuing a hefty fine and taking a race away from him, Coffs Harbour trainer Gordon Yorke has been paid a ‘compliment’ by Racing NSW stewards.
Under the powers of ARR 177, he was this week fined $7000 and Molten disqualified as the winner of a race at Grafton on January 18, 2011, after an analyst’s finding of a concentration of testosterone above the level prescribed for geldings in the urine swab taken after the victory.
The trainer pleaded guilty to a charge under AR178 of having brought a horse to a racecourse for the purposes of engaging in a race and that a prohibited substance was detected in a post-race sample taken from such horse.
But in handing down the penalty, stewards commented on the recognised integrity of the trainer’s operation.
“After taking into account all relevant circumstances including Mr Yorker’s cooperation with the inquiry, prior good record and his investment in racing in terms of conducting a professional stable including the employment of staff, the stewards issued a penalty of $7000,” the report into the findings stated.
The runner-up, Pondicherry, was awarded the race.
Evidence was taken from the trainer as well as Dr Craig Suann, Racing NSW senior official veterinarian (by telephone) and from John Keledjian, operations director, Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (also by telephone).
Mr Yorke was advised of his rights of appeal but declined to take the matter further.
“I understand what has happened and just want to put it to bed,” he said.
“However, I must say I was impressed and pleased with the respectful way I was treated by the stewards and their positive comments about how I conduct my business.”
I was impressed and pleased with the respectful way I was treated by the stewards and their positive comments about how I conduct my business.