Premiership-winning trainer Shane Hillier has been disqualified after one of his pacers returned a positive swab.
The Leeton trainer, who won the South West and Riverina Premiership last season, was banned for 12 months following a Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) stewards inquiry.
Meloxicam, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, was detected following Corrinyah Conman’s win at Temora on March 9.
Hillier pleaded guilty to a charge under Australian Harness Racing Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting Corrinyah Conman to race not free of a prohibited substance.
Following the inquiry he was disqualified for a period of 12 months, to start with immediate affect.
He also pleaded guilty to a charge under rule 190B for failing to keep and maintain a log book and was fined $500.
In determining the penalty stewards took into account it was the second prohibited substance offence for which a penalty was imposed.
Hillier also had an arsenic matter with Harness Racing Victoria where no penalty was imposed.
The Class 3 nature of the substance, Hillier’s guilty plea, offence record and circumstances were also considered.
Corrinyah Conman has been disqualified from the race and the placings amended.
Hillier was on track to claim back-to-back Southwest and Riverina premierships before his disqualification.
He is now ineligible to win.
Before the disqualification Hillier was eight wins clear with 10 weeks left in the season.
Now David Kennedy leads the standings.
The Euroley trainer is on 23 wins, three clear of Ellen Bartley.
Bruce Harpley is next best on 19, but is also set to face a stewards inquiry.
David Eurell and the ineligible Amanda Turnbull are next best on 15 wins.
Blake Jones holds a massive lead in the drivers premierships.
The Coleambally reinsman has driver 63 winners in the region so far.
He’s 41 clear of Bruce Harpley.
Mitchell Reese is next best on 19 after being docked the win on Corrinyah Conman due to the swab.
Bill Trembath (16) and Bartley (14) round out the top five.