Tullio and GRV On Supreme Court Collision Course

PROMINENT breeder Vince Tullio is on a Supreme Court collision course with GRV after being handed a two-year disqualification last October.

Adam Dobbin

15 February 2022

PROMINENT breeder-owner-trainer Vince Tullio is on a Supreme Court collision course with Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) after being handed a two-year disqualification last October.

Tullio, one of Australia’s most successful owner-breeders, was charged with breaching Greyhounds Australasia rule 86(d) for making a false or misleading statement to stewards and rule 86(o) for conduct which in the opinion of stewards may be negligent, dishonest, corrupt, fraudulent or improper.

Tullio pleaded not guilty to both charges.

The charges stemmed from the opening race at Geelong on Friday November 2, 2018 where the Tullio-trained Immediate was successful as the $1.60 favourite.

Just five greyhounds competed in the race after Tullio scratched Shining the day prior while Seducing was withdrawn on race morning. Both greyhounds were found to have diarrhoea.

On the evening prior to the race, Tullio, while at a poker night, placed 15 bets on Shining totalling $1,594.80 with Bet365, despite her scratching earlier in the afternoon.

At the hearing, Tullio explained to stewards that he believed he was placing bets on Seducing which was still in the field at that stage and that it was an honest mistake.

Tullio also argued that as a regular gambler errors such as this did occur from time to time.

It was also established in evidence that Tullio had not placed any wagers on the ultimate winner Immediate until both Shining and Seducing had been withdrawn by wagering operators and markets had been updated.

Yet despite this, GRV counsel argued that they believed the conduct to be a form of market manipulation and found Tullio guilty on both charges despite failing to exhibit any financial motive.

In October, the Victorian Racing Tribunal (VRT) sentenced Tullio, imposing a two-year disqualification, a position in alignment with GRV.

In the penalty notice the VRT declared Tullio’s behaviour as a “mystery” but still concluded he attempted to “manipulate the market”.

Far from satisfied with the decision and its process, Tullio instructed his legal team to commence Supreme Court proceedings on the matter, which is set to begin in August.

“These are the lengths greyhound participants are forced to go to fight for their innocence,” Tullio told the Greyhound Recorder.

“You can only go to the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to argue penalty, not guilt or innocence.

“So I instructed my lawyers to begin Supreme Court action. It will probably cost me in excess of $200,000 and GRV the same so it could cost the industry $500,000 when it’s all said and done.

“But I’m not doing this for me. I’m doing it to take a stand because the way the judicial system in Victorian greyhound racing is setup is completely flawed. If it costs me $200,000 to prove that and that’s the price of innocence, well so be it.”

When speaking to the Greyhound Recorder about the events which led to his two-year disqualification, Tullio was very much straight to the point.

“I’m yet to be told how I benefited from the mistake or how I was to benefit,” Tullio said.

“I backed the wrong dog and deductions would obviously come into play anyway. That’s what deductions are there for to adjust the market when there is scratchings and protect all involved.

“But as I said before, going to the Supreme Court isn’t as much about me and this particular instance as it is in showing that GRV can be held to task also.

“99 percent of participants just wear what they get because they can’t afford to take this step. The system is designed so you almost just have to take what you get.”

Tullio has enlisted the services of top silk Paul Holdenson as well as barrister Lynton Hogan and Leo Balbata for his looming Supreme Court challenge.