Shattered Smith Vows To Clear Name

TRAINER David Smith has fallen foul to Qld's Raceday treatment edict, resulting in the scratching of his quartet of runners at Albion Park on Thursday.

Adam Dobbin

11 June 2021

NSW trainer David Smith has fallen foul to Queensland’s stringent Raceday treatment edict, resulting in the late scratching of his quartet of runners at Albion Park on Thursday night.

Smith ventured to Brisbane on Thursday with high hopes, represented by Ice Cream Story in the Group 2 Flying Amy Classic (520m), Classy Ethics in the Listed Dashing Corsair (710m), along with key chances Super Estrella and Prim and Proper.

But hopes of what promised to be a successful night came crashing down when Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) stewards withdrew Smith’s four runners directly after kenneling.

Following a routine inspection of his vehicle upon arrival, Smith happily provided Stewards with a rundown of his raceday procedures which included the use of Beta-Cel electrolytes and Traumeel.

It was the use of Traumeel – a widely used over-the-counter non-veterinary analgesic – which caught Stewards attention, resulting in the scratching of Smith’s four runners under GA Rule 83A stating;

No person without the permission of the Stewards may administer or cause to be administered any treatment to a greyhound at any time on the day of the meeting until that greyhound is no longer presented for an Event.”

On Thursday night, an emotional David Smith spoke to the Greyhound Recorder where the loss of racing opportunity and prizemoney was the furthest thing from his mind.

“My reputation means more to me than any race or prizemoney, so it’s important people know what’s really happened here,” Smith said.

“The last thing I want is people thinking I’m a cheat; it couldn’t be anymore the opposite.

“I actually got the Traumeel and Beta-Cel out of the esky to show the Stewards not thinking anything of it. It’s over the counter – widely used – and I’d been told it was totally fine.

“If I was doing something wrong the last thing I’d be doing is happily handing it over to Stewards. I left home at 3am this morning; my only aim was to ensure the dogs were fit and healthy to race.

“This is all still very raw as it’s just happened but if things go pear shaped with this I think I’d consider just walking away. It’s left me feeling totally sick to be honest.

“I’m shattered.”

It’s understood Stewards acted on part (e) of the GA rule which states the non use of (e) All veterinary and other substances containing other scheduled and unscheduled prohibited substances.

It’s further understood that a minor component of Traumeel is on the banned substances list. Traumeel assists in relief of sprains and soft tissue trauma.

.On Thursday night, Acting QRIC Chief Steward Wade Hadley addressed the matter by saying. 

“Stewards opened an inquiry tonight with trainer David Smith,” Hadley said.

“After interviewing David Smith and QRIC veterinarians, Stewards could not be comfortably satisfied that the trainer’s greyhounds had not been treated in contravention of the rules of racing.

“Therefore the trainer’s four greyhounds were scratched from their races tonight. Swab samples were taken from each of the greyhounds and the inquiry was adjourned to a date to be fixed.”

In recent years, QRIC have taken a hard line stance over the rule as opposed to other jurisdictions.

The predicament David Smith finds himself in will shock many longtime participants but there is a fairly recent precedent.

In 2018, the Terry Auckram-trained Shoes To Fill was sensationally scratched on the day of the Group 1 Gold Cup Final at Albion Park after stewards found a syringe at the trainers property.  

It’s understood the syringe, which was admitted to be administered, possessed nothing more than a mixture of honey.