Townsville Bungle Leads To Sweeping Changes

THE Queensland Racing Integrity Commission have introduced a raft of changes after the stewards mishandling of race 8 at Townsville on March 30.

Adam Dobbin

13 April 2021

THE Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) have introduced a raft of procedural changes following the stewards mishandling of race eight at Townsville on March 30.

In what will go down in infamy as “rake 8 at Townsville”, Stewards declared all-clear on the event despite a rake being left in front of the boxes for the commencement of the race.

Following the event trainers implored Stewards to declare the event a no race but it was to no avail, with the decision to post all-clear given universal condemnation.

The day following the bizarre turn of events the QRIC opened up an inquiry into the matter, handing down their findings today.

“QRIC Greyhound Stewards have implemented state-wide procedural changes after Townsville Greyhound Club and QRIC officials made four critical errors when a rake was left against the starting box in race 8 at Townsville on 30 March,” the statement read.

“An investigation report into the incident determined that; (1) the track curator failed to remove the rake after performing race preparation duties following race 7, (2) the official starter failed to ensure the starting boxes were clear for racing prior to directing handlers to box the greyhounds for race 8, (3) the QRIC Steward positioned at the starting boxes failed to notify the Steward in charge of the rake, prior to signalling for the All Clear, and (4) the patrol footage was not reviewed by the QRIC Stewards’ panel prior to the event being declared All Clear.”

Chief Greyhound Steward Alex Kitching said the investigation showed greyhound racing procedures required change to ensure a similar incident does not occur in future.

“In response to the four critical errors being assessed, the following processes have been implemented state-wide to ensure another incident does not occur,” Kitching said.

“The race starter is only permitted to direct handlers to box greyhounds after receiving the starting signal from the Steward in charge once the following checks have been completed.

“The starting box controls are on the correct settings. The starting boxes are clear with no obstructions. The track is clear of anything foreign, and the catching pen gate keepers are present at the correct gates.

“All radio communication between officials is to be acknowledged by the receiver.

“Post-race identification of the first four placings is clearly communicated by the identification steward and any incidents reported to the Steward in charge.

“The patrol footage of each race is to be reviewed prior to the All Clear being given. All processes will continue to be monitored and assessed regularly QRIC Stewards.”