On 21 May 2021, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards filed an application with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to review a penalty imposed by the Victorian Racing Tribunal (VRT) on 30 April 2021 against licensed trainer Cassandra O’Brien.

The HRV Stewards sought a review of the penalty imposed by the VRT in relation to a charge under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) for the presentation of ‘Graceful Art’ to race at Ouyen on 22 March 2020 when not free of alkalinising agents, a prohibited substance when present above the allowable threshold.

The details of the VRT’s decision can be viewed here.

Prior to an administrative mention on 3 September 2021, the parties came to an agreement as to the penalty on the charge that was to be reviewed by VCAT. The agreed penalty was formalised by VCAT with orders dated 7 September 2021. The VCAT orders can be viewed here.

The revised penalty to be imposed is as follows:

12 months suspension, with 6 months of that period suspended pending no further breach of the AHRR 190 between 30 April 2021 and 29 April 2023

As Ms O’Brien has already served three months of that suspension, the remaining three months of suspension are to be served between 20 September 2021 and 19 December 2021.