On 28 November 2023, the Victorian Racing Tribunal (VRT) considered a charge issued by Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards against licensed trainer-driver Alan Ratnasingham under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1).

AHRR 190(1) reads as follows:

A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.

The charge related to a urine sample collected from the horse Illawong Phoenix after it won Race 8, the “Mark Gurry & Associates Pace”, at the Cranbourne harness racing meeting on 21 February 2023. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported the sample contained arsenic in excess of the allowable threshold.

Mr Ratnasingham pleaded guilty to the charge before submissions on penalty were heard on behalf of the HRV Stewards and from Mr Ratnasingham.


Mr Ratnasingham was fined $2000, with $1500 of that fine suspended for a period of 12 months.

The VRT also ordered that, under AHRR 195, Illawong Phoenix be disqualified from Race 8 at Cranbourne on 21 February 2023 and that the placings be amended accordingly. Further to that, the VRT ordered that under AHRR 200(1) any prizemoney won by Illawong Phoenix from the race be refunded to HRV.

VRT Panel: Magistrate John Doherty (Deputy Chairperson) and Judge Julie Nicholson.


The written decisions of the VRT can be found here.

(Please note that VRT Decisions will generally be published within 7-10 days of the date of hearing)