GWIC Overturn Flawed Gardens All-Clear Decision

THE now infamous third race at The Gardens last Thursday has been declared a no-race with GWIC officials overturning the initial decision Monday.

Adam Dobbin

30 May 2022

THE now infamous third race at The Gardens last Thursday has been declared a no-race with stewards overturning the initial decision at an inquiry held on Monday.

Social media went into a tailspin last Thursday when it was revealed that Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission (GWIC) stewards had remarkably given “all-clear” on the 272-metre masters event.

This despite a starting mechanism failure which resulted in the boxes opening when the lure was all but at the top turn, the best part of 60 metres away from the greyhounds.

Such was the expectation that the race would be briskly abandoned, race-caller Phil Roberts all but gave up on the event mid-call, saying: “the boxes have failed to open … so they’ve opened subsequently but the lure had gone considerably past the boxes.”

Following the widespread condemnation of the decision, GWIC officials opened an inquiry, handing down their findings on Monday afternoon with the following statement.

“Pursuant to Greyhound Racing Rule (GRR) 13(1)(a), the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission ordered an inquiry into the propriety of Race 3 at The Gardens meeting on 26 May 2022,” the statement read. 

“The review had regard to Greyhound Racing Rule 109 and its provisions which relate to the lure distance from the leading greyhound and the position of the lure throughout the Event. The original decision of the Stewards was to declare All Clear on the Event.

“Today (Monday) a Steward’s Panel consisting of Mr. Wade Birch and Mr. Dean Degan commenced a hearing to review the decision. During the hearing the relevant footage of the Event was viewed, and evidence was taken from the trainers of greyhounds that participated in the Event.

“After viewing all the available footage of the event, Stewards established the following facts:

* The Starting Boxes failed to open immediately following the lure reaching the starting point breaching the requirements of GRR 108 (3); and

* The lure had progressed to be positioned shortly before the first turn approximately 60 metres from the starting boxes at the time of box rise in breach of the requirements of GRR 109(1).

“Stewards also heard submissions from the trainers of greyhounds engaged in the event relative to their greyhound’s pursuit of the lure and considered evidence provided in support of their submissions.”

While the move to overturn the decision is the right call of action, it does little for punters that wagered on the event.

While dividends were paid out as per the result across the line, Monday’s determination to declare the event a no-race confirms the competing greyhounds were denied a fair and proper chance at victory.