Lawyer Left Dismayed Over Betting Charge

RACING legal eagle Paul O’Sullivan says he is dismayed with the decision by GWIC to interim-suspend trainer Rob Tyler over alleged betting offences.

Adam Dobbin

5 March 2021

RACING legal eagle Paul O’Sullivan says he is dismayed with the decision by the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission (GWIC) to interim-suspend trainer Rob Tyler over alleged betting offences.

On Tuesday, Tyler, who has held an unblemished trainers licence since 1979, was issued a show-cause notice over alleged breaches of Greyhounds Australasia Rule 87 which prohibits owners and trainers from laying their own greyhounds.

Following the notice, Tyler engaged the services of high profile racing lawyer Paul O’Sullivan.

“My representations on behalf of my client were black and white,” O’Sullivan said.

“The rule as it reads prohibits the laying of greyhounds. There’s four definitions to the rule and in the evidence presented to me I can’t see where Mr. Tyler has contravened any of them.

“At the very least, procedural fairness requires my client to be informed of what he’s actually done wrong.

“Today’s letter notifying us of an interim-suspension simply fails to do that.”

On Friday night at Richmond, Tyler will rug up race favourite Crazy Cool for the Group 2 Richmond Oaks before his ban commences at midnight, meaning his Saturday night Wentworth Park runner Rowdy Roddy will be scratched by stewards.

On January 2, GWIC stewards opened an inquiry into the performance of greyhound Stilton Gem following her seventh placed finish as a $2.10 favourite at Richmond.

Stilton Gem was having her first start for Tyler after being purchased by kennel clients for $2000.

Stewards swabbed the bitch, which returned negative and cited a “slightly poor performance” before pulling betting records where they noted Tyler had placed 14 bets on the event.

While Tyler didn’t ‘lay’ Stilton Gem, his bets in the race didn’t include the recent kennel acquisition in exotics and multiples.

“If they want a rule that you can’t bet in a race you are engaged in other than betting on your greyhound they should write one,” O’Sullivan said.

This is the first occasion GWIC have sought to use GA Rule 87.

In fact, in greyhound racing, the rule has been actioned on just two previous occasions, including last August when Darwin Cup-winning trainer Steele Bolton was fined $3925 by the Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) for betting directly against a greyhound he trains.

On that occasion, Bolton placed a wager on Ladbrokes’ favourite vs field market in an event where Bolton trained the favourite.

The NTRC deduced from that Bolton was effectively betting on a greyhound he trains to lose (lay).

Previously, in any of the three racing codes in Australia, no owner or trainer has had their licence suspended over lay betting offences.

“In our submissions, we acknowledged the bets my client placed,” O’Sullivan said.

“None of the conduct constitutes lay betting.

“I’m instructed by my client to appeal immediately which I’ll be doing as a matter of urgency.”

GWIC issued the following statement.

“The Commission is investigating allegations of misconduct by registered participant, Mr Rob Tyler for engaging in lay betting against greyhounds trained by him.

“After considering the evidence currently before the Commission and submissions made on Mr Tyler’s behalf, the Commission imposed an interim suspension upon Mr Tyler’s registration pending the finalisation of the inquiry into this matter, pursuant to Rule 92(5)(c) of the Commission’s Greyhound Racing Rules.

“This interim suspension will commence at 12.00am Saturday, 6 March 2021. The investigation into this matter is ongoing.”