Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Harness racing under scrutiny -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

(generated from captions) on the up and up? First tonight

a 7:30 investigation into

harness racing and claims the

sport is roton to its core in

NSW. What's going on in quite

unbelievable. It's alleged unbelievable. It's alleged that

rogue trainers, drivers and

owners intimidate critics by fire bombing cars and setting

stables alight. The sport's stables alight. The sport's own

regulatory body has admitted

the existence of a doping and

operating for months. Our betting syndicate that's been

reporter has spent weeks piecing together how people inside that very body supposed

to be cleaning up the sport

allegedly set up and ran the


Inside the stables of

Menangle Park paceway, the home of harness racing in NSW,

another winner has just come in

off the track. Usually on quiet

mid week race days like these

every winner of every race

isn't tested for drugs. But

today it's different, the

stewards are are out in force.

What are you guys up to? And

trainers like Mitchell Reece and his team

and his team are on edge. Go

somewhere else, will you. Hey,

(Bleep) off. Mitchell Reece is

one of more than 20 trainers,

drivers and owners being

investigated for their alleged

doping and betting syndicate. roles in an

Reece says he has nothing to

hide and to date no charges

have been laid against him.

Have you ever come across

something as news like this as

distressing and to have such wide ramifications? Never,

never. Across the stables

Menangle trainer Daryl New is

watching on preparing his

horses for the afternoon

racing. Come on. With 40 years

industry experience and an

unblemished record, he's seen

the best and worst on and off

the track. Can you tell me more

about the culture of intimidation? There's physical

violence, threats of - well

poor old Bill's company car was

blown up. It's not the first one. People's stables have been

burnt. We're a forgiving group

of people. Someone does 12

months for something and after they've done their time we you've done your time, come

back in. This is beyond that

sort of - this is organised.

This is corrupt. They're just about set and they're

racing. The scandal of the

century began to unravel 2

weeks ago when harness racing

NSW chief executive Sam Nati issued a short statement

announcing two of its stewards

has resigned. 47-year-old Paul O'Toole, a O'Toole, a veteran starter, and

24-year-old Matthew Bentley, a relative newcomer

relative newcomer with around 3

years experience. There was

brief mention of an investigation into allegations

details were given. The of misconduct but no more

allegations made against the

stewards were that they were providing information to

trainers about whether or not

their horses would be swabbed on the day of the races which

effectively, if true, provided

a green light for those horses

to race with performance-enhancing drugs.

I've had Memphis Day 10 wins

in 18 months for 10 swab. Jock

Wallis 4 wins for 4 swabs.

Randall Reins 2 wins for 2

swabs. But while you're getting

swabbed otherings aren't? Exact

l. How many races did I not win

where they knew they weren't

going to get swabbed? Based on

information obtained by 7:30,

up to 100 races across the

State may have been fixed and

won by doped horses. The scam

allegedly began about 18 months

ago when steward Matthew

Bentley was placed in charge of

western NSW. Over the coming western the Dubbo race track in central

months Bentley and O'Toole

allegedly conspired to work

together. Selecting a small

group of trainers and drivers

racing at the tracks as

stewards to supervise. Before

long the two stewards were

running the scam at several NSW paceways. They're the police,

they're the police for our sport. How disturbing is

that? That is terribly disturbing. It's dumb founding

really when you

sure the people entrusted to make

sure that what all the administrators do and all the

participants do go out there

and compete on a level

field. Stewards basically come

on to the race track and they

effectively run the show. They

are in charge of the race

course. The stewards should course. The stewards should be

beyond all reproach. They have

the highest level of integrity. 7:30 has been told the stewards received around

$500 for every green light they

handed out, potentially added

up over time to tens of

thousands of dollars. It's

believed the stewards would contact trainers and drivers

and give and give them the all clear the

evening before the chosen race.

Overnight it's believed the

horse would be doped. For 18

months it was a dream run for

those in the know but as the

syndicate grew, it became

O'Toole to harder for stewards Bentley and

operation. Then 6 months ago

someone blew the whistle to Sam

Nati. We did a number of things

including check

and we continued to monitor the

situation because initially we

didn't find anything that would

correspond to what we were able

to come across at a later

time. There's a reason nothing

alarming was found at first. 7:30 can reveal that the stewards were communicating

with members of the syndicate through through an elaborate system of secondary, secret, mobile

phones and when the records for

these secret phones were pulled

on Friday, an even more

disturbing pattern disturbing pattern was discovered. Not only were the

stewards tipping off trainers

and drivers, it's believed they

were also communicating the tip offs to big-time punters. There's people behind

the stewards, there are punters, more than likely very

big punters that have a corrupt nobody else can have. This is

organised? It is well and truly organised. How much money are we talking? Unknown, but it could be many thousands,

if not tens of thousands, if

not hundreds of thousands of

dollars, depending on how long

it went on for and what was the

strength or the ability of

these punters to get their

money out there and with all

sorts, with bet fair, with

corporate book makers and the

tote. What's your message to lot of the races they were

betting on they weren't even

betting fairly, that it was all predetermined? Yeah - And all

of those trainers who are competing against a doped

horse? I would say to those trainers

trainers that we will be pursuing the wrong doers

vigorously. While Nati chases

the culprits a civil case for

compensation is also on the

cards and cards and harness Racing NSW is considering mandatory drug

testing for every winner at

every meet. NSW police's

firearms and organised crime squad is pursuing its own

investigation and charges are

expected to be laid against several individuals in the

coming weeks. As the sun sets

on another sombre race day at

me - Menangle trainers like

Daryl New are bracing for many more a question now when I send one

of my hors out next, because

I've spoken out, could it be

interfered with? But, interfered with? But, yeah, I'm

at risk by even talking to you,

but someone's got to say the

point. The bulk of these people

are good people. The bad ones