A Canterbury horse trainer charged with drug dealing after a major police probe into alleged race-fixing and drugs in the New Zealand harness racing industry is fighting to keep his name a secret.

The 30-year-old man appeared at Christchurch District Court on Wednesday on allegations of dealing Class B drugs and unlawful possession of a restricted weapon.

Judge Tony Couch refused an application for name suppression, but defence counsel Andrew McCormick immediately indicated he would appeal the decision to the High Court.

The man had interim name suppression until 4pm today to give his lawyer time to file an appeal. He was remanded on bail without plea to September 26.


Today it has been confirmed that appeal papers have been filed to the High Court in Christchurch. No date for the appeal hearing has yet been set.

A total of 10 people have been charged as a result of Operation Inca — a 17-month National Organised Crime Group investigation into alleged corruption in harness racing.

Seventeen search warrants have been carried at stables and properties across Canterbury, Manawatu and Southland this week.

Promising young driver Matthew Anderson, a 26-year-old of Woodend Beach, 25km north of Christchurch, also appeared in court on Wednesday facing a fraud-related charge.

Details of the charge are subject to an interim suppression order made by a judge.

He is also accused of supplying a Class-B controlled drug.

Anderson was granted bail with special conditions that he does not attend any race meetings, horse trials, or workouts.

He will be back at Christchurch District Court next Tuesday when four men — aged 34, 40, 41, and 44 — are due to appear on match-fixing charges. A 41-year-old woman is due to appear the same day on two counts of supplying Class-B drugs and a 47-year-old man will appear in Palmerston North District Court charged with deception by match-fixing.


A 49-year-old Christchurch man also facing drugs charges made no plea and was remanded on bail to September 26. He was granted interim suppression of name and occupation.

Elie Sawma, a 42-year-old from the Papanui area of Christchurch, has also been charged.

He faces seven allegations that between May 28 and July 20 this year, he supplied the Class-B controlled drug MDMA. He also faces a charge of possessing MDMA and on June 28, offering to supply the Class-A drug cocaine.

Sawma was remanded on bail by consent to October 4.

Big-time harness racing owner and Christchurch car dealer Graham Beirne will be questioned by police when he lands in Auckland tomorrow after holidaying in Bali.

Beirne told the Herald yesterday that he was innocent and would "defend myself with everything I have as I haven't done anything wrong".