JRC bans trainer, groom for six months
TRAINER Colin Ferguson and groom Winston Flemmings were warned off all courses and other places where the rules of racing are in force for a period of six months after the conclusion of an investigation which determined that their horse Jovoun The Master had raced with the prohibited substance morphine on February 22, 2012.
Under Section 25 of the Jamaica Racing Act into the report by the racing chemist that a urine sample taken from the horse on February 22, 2012 indicated the presence of morphine, the split sample was subsequently analysed at the Chemistry Department of the University of the West Indies where it was confirmed that morphine was present in the sample.
During the investigation the tribunal heard evidence on behalf of the JRC and evidence from Ferguson and Flemmings.
After considering the evidence, the Tribunal:
(a) Accepted the findings of the Racing Chemist that the urine sample taken from the horse Jovoun The Master contained the prohibited substance morphine and pursuant to Rule 247(1) disqualified the said horse from the race in question;
(b) Found that trainer Ferguson failed to rebut the presumption of negligence and warned him off all courses and other places where the Rules of Racing are in force for a period of six months and imposed a fine of $200,000 on him to be paid within 90 days;
(c) Found that groom Flemmings also failed to rebut the presumption of negligence and warned him off all courses and other places where the Rules of Racing are in force for a period of six months and a fine of $100,000 imposed on him to be paid within 90 days;
(d) Exonerated Patrick Salmon the owner of the horse.
Garth McBean, the JRC's Legal Adviser marshalled the evidence on behalf of the Tribunal.
Meanwhile, former champion jockey Omar Walker succeeded with an August 9, 2012 appeal to the JRC against the decision of the Stewards to suspend him for two race days for the intimidation and interference his mount Vonalmighty caused to Rolex in the last 200 metres of the race on July 14, 2012.
The suspension was imposed following an enquiry by the Operations Stewards on July 17, 2012 into Walker's riding of the said horse.
Walker submitted that the intimidation and interference caused by his mount was not sufficient to warrant a suspension of two race days, and after viewing the patrol film of the race, hearing evidence from Walker, and a submission from the chairman of the Stewards' panel on the day, Haldene Johansen, the JRC ruled that the two-day suspension be revoked and be substituted with a fine of $10,000 to be paid within one week.
However, jockey Robert Halledeen was not so lucky as his appeal against the decision of the Operations Stewards to suspend him for five race days for the interference his mount I've Been Chozen caused to Fill's Fancy and Argument Done in the vicinity of the 1,000-metre point in the second race on July 14, 2012, was dismissed.