Two of New Zealand harness racing's biggest names could know by the end of the week whether they can resume driving on raceday.
The Judicial Control Authority heard submissions from two horsepeople as well as representatives of the Racing Integrity Unit in Christchurch yesterday about the exclusion notices served on the pair.
The exclusion notices were issued after a number of Canterbury properties were raided and arrests made in September but the names of those charged and the exact nature of the charges are subject to suppression by court order.
The horsepeople involved have been allowed to train and drive at workouts and trials but not raceday and they, listed as Mr X and Mr Y at yesterday's hearing, are seeking to have those exclusions lifted so they can return to driving at race meetings.
The JCA reserved their decision but it is expected that decision could be released before the end of the week or next week at the latest as one of the most important times in harness racing, the New Zealand Cup, looms.
While only two of the horsepeople facing charges argued against their exclusion notices yesterday if the JCA rules in their favour and they return to race driving it is expected the exclusion notices for all those charged will be lifted until their charges are heard, more than likely not until next year.
A court date has been set for later next month to determine whether the suppression of names and the exact charges remain.
• Meanwhile, champion West Australian pacer Chicago Bull will make his Auckland debut on Friday night.
The millionaire pacer is in town as part of his build up to the $800,000 New Zealand Cup at Addington on November 13.
Chicago Bull faces a 20m back mark over 2200m against Jack's Legend in what will be Chicago Bull's first standing start.
The meeting also features the next round in the building rivalry between top North Island trotters Lemond and Temporale but Speeding Spur is missing from that clash as he heads to Kaikoura on Monday.
While that is no surprise, the nomination of Monbet for Kaikoura is, with the champion trotter to trial today before possibly having his first start in nearly two years at Monday's iconic meeting.