Racing NSW Stewards today gave consideration to the following charges issued against trainer Mr Con Karakatsanis, in respect to the Howmuchdoyouloveme Stewards Inquiry opened at Royal Randwick on 17 September 2016.
Evidence today was taken from Racing NSW Senior Official Veterinarian, Dr Craig Suann and Mr Karakatsanis, who appeared unrepresented. Racing NSW Legal Counsel, Mr M Orr also assisted the hearing.
1. AR178E(1) – administering or causing to be administered medication to Howmuchdoyouloveme on race day 17 September 2016. Plea: Not Guilty
2. AR178AB(1)(b) – Injecting or causing to be injected Howmuchdoyouloveme during one clear day prior to race day 17 September 2016. Plea: Not Guilty
On 2 December 2016 Mr Karakatsanis sought and was granted an adjournment in respect to the two charges so that he may obtain expert veterinary evidence. At today’s hearing no expert veterinary evidence was presented.
Findings 1. Mr Karakatsanis was found guilty of the charge issued under AR178E(1). 2. Stewards made no finding in respect to the charge under AR178AB(1)(b).
Penalty AR196(5) mandates a period of 6 months disqualification for an offence under AR178E(1), unless Stewards are satisfied that special circumstances exist in accordance with LR108. Stewards were satisfied no special circumstances existed.
Having given consideration to the relevant matters in respect to penalty, including Mr Karakatsanis’s record which revealed one similar breach of the Rules of Racing, the Stewards issued a period of 12 months disqualification against Mr Karakatsanis to commence immediately and to expire on 9 February 2018 on which day he may re-apply for his licence.
Acting under the provisions of AR196(6) the Stewards advised Mr Karakatsanis the commencement of the disqualification was deferred for seven days, however, during this period he may not start a horse in any race.
Mr Karakatsanis was advised of his rights of appeal. Mr Karakatsanis has lodged an appeal to the Racing NSW Appeal Panel, which is currently considering an application for a stay of proceedings.
Relevant Rules AR 178E. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of AR 178C(2), no person without the permission of the Stewards may administer or cause to be administered any medication to a horse on race day prior to such horse running in a race.
AR 178AB. (1) A person must not, without the permission of the Stewards, inject a horse, cause a horse to be injected or attempt to inject a horse, which is engaged to run in any race: (a) at any time on the day of the scheduled race, prior to the start of such event; and (b) at any time during the One Clear Day prior to 12.01am on the day of the scheduled race.
AR196(5) Where a person is found guilty of a breach of any of the Rules listed below, a penalty of disqualification for a period of not less than the period specified for that Rule must be imposed unless there is a finding that a special circumstance exists whereupon the penalty may be reduced:
AR178E – 6 months
LR108(2) For the purposes of AR196(5), special circumstances means where:
(a) the person has pleaded guilty at an early stage and assisted the Stewards or the Board in the investigation or prosecution of a breach of the Rule(s) relating to the subject conduct; or (b) the person proves on the balance of probabilities that, at the time of the commission of the offence, he: (i) had impaired mental functioning; or (ii) was under duress, that is causally linked to the breach of the Rule(s) and substantially reduces his culpability.
(c) in the case of offences under AR178E, the medication in the opinion of the Stewards does not contain a prohibited substance, is of an insignificant nature and is for the welfare of the horse; or
(d) the person proves, on the balance of probabilities that, he did not know, ought not to have known and would not have known had he made all reasonable inquiries, that his conduct was in breach of the Rules of Racing.