Racing: Harness driver suspended for testing over the limit before race

By Matt Smith

Harness driver Blair Orange.
Harness driver Blair Orange.

Canterbury reinsman Blair Orange has been suspended for five days and fined $1050 for recording a breath-alcohol level of 334mcg before the Central Otago Trotting Club meeting at Omakau on Saturday.

Orange, who admitted the charge relating to a breath-alcohol level above the Harness Racing New Zealand threshold of 100mcg, will miss meetings between January 7 and January 14.

His suspension begins at Oamaru on Thursday, takes in the two days of the Nelson Harness Racing Club meeting this weekend and the Northern Southland meeting at Ascot Park on January 14.

Orange was stood down from his drives at Omakau, and the Judicial Control Authority considered that as a day of suspension when reaching its decision.

The authority determined Orange averages seven drives a day, so he will miss the equivalent of 35 drives, and his $1050 fine is equal to a further 21 drives.

The JCA committee had no relevant harness racing cases to draw parallels with, so used the suspension of jockey Terry Moseley in 2009 for a similar offence as a guideline. Moseley was suspended for nine race days - or a month - and was considered to average six rides a meeting.

- NZ Herald

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