Racing NSW Stewards today finalised an investigation into speculation that Stoneyrise, the winner of the WRA Country Championship Qualifier at Dubbo, was not legitimately under the care of trainer James Hatch for a period after the eligibility date of 26 September 2016.
CDRA/WRA Chief Steward, Todd Smith, conducted an unannounced inspection of Mr Hatch’s stables on Monday, 27 February 2017, whereby he established that Stoneyrise was stabled at the property in accordance with the stable return lodged.
Mr Hatch provided video evidence to Mr Smith of the horse working, under the care of Mr Hatch, in the lead-up to the race at Dubbo on 19 February 2017, along with Mr Smith being satisfied that the horse was being conditioned on Mr Hatch’s property.
In addition, Racing NSW Stewards were provided, with the assistance of Queensland Racing Stewards, copies of trackwork records from Toowoomba Racecourse, whereby brands are recorded for all horses working daily on the course.
The records did not establish that Stoneyrise had worked at Toowoomba Racecourse and the trackwork supervisor reported that the gelding had not worked on the course.
Stewards also interviewed a Queensland trainer, based at Eagle Farm, who advised Stewards that he has never been involved in the training of the gelding.
In all the circumstances, Racing NSW Stewards are satisfied that Stoneyrise has been trained in accordance with the conditions of the Country Championships and is eligible to take its place in the final at Royal Randwick on Saturday, 1 April 2017.