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Ashburton RC 1 September 2017 - R 8 (instigating a protest) - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 05 September 2017

Rules:
642(1)
Committee:
RMcKenzie (chair)
GClapp
Respondent(s):
Mr JR Lowery - Licensed Apprentice Jockey (Class B)
Informant:
Mr D Prastiyou - Licensed Jockey (Class A)
Information Number:
A09511
Horse Name:
FORGED
Persons present:
Mr DM Walsh - Apprentice Jockey Mentor assisting Mr Lowry
Mr JM McLaughlin - Stipendiary Steward
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 8, Fiona Stuart Retirement Maiden, an information instigating a protest was filed by Licensed Jockey (Class A), Mr D Prastiyou, rider of HIGH PLAY, placed 2nd by the judge, against FORGED (JR Lowry), placed 1st by the judge, alleging interference in the final straight.

Mr Prastiyou and Mr Lowry were present at the hearing of the information. Mr Lowry was assisted at the hearing by Apprentice Jockey Mentor, Mr D M Walsh.

Rule 642 provides as follows:
(1) If a placed horse or its Rider causes interference within the meaning of this Rule 642 to another placed horse, and the Judicial Committee is of the opinion that the horse so interfered with would have finished ahead of the first mentioned horse had such interference not occurred, they may place the first mentioned horse immediately after the horse interfered with.

The judge’s official placings for the race were as follows:
1st - 3 Forged
2nd - 5 High Play
3rd - 11 Sunset Girl
4th - 6 Mavrick
5th - 8 Dowry Duty

The margin between 1st and 2nd was a ½ neck.

Submissions For Decision:

The hearing began with head-on and side-on videos replays of the final 300 metres of the race being shown. The runners were spread across the track as the field turned for home. Mr Prastiyou, riding HIGH PLAY, was the widest of runners with FORGED, ridden by Mr Lowry on its inside.

Mr Prastiyou alleged that, over the final 100 metres, Mr Lowry’s horse commenced to drift out. Just past the 50 metres, he received a “wee bump” or a “brush” and his horse lost momentum, Mr Prastiyou alleged.

Mr McLaughlin confirmed that that contact took place inside the final 50 metres.

Mr Lowry said that Mr Prastiyou’s horse had “taken off before the corner” and, he submitted, that it had drifted out as much as his own, Mr Lowry’s, runner. There was a “significant bump” at about the 30 metres but his own horse had followed Mr Prastiyou’s horse out, Mr Lowry submitted. At no stage did Mr Prastiyou stop riding his mount and, while both runners were shifting out, there was always “daylight” between them prior to “brushing”, Mr Lowry submitted. That was the only contact between the two runners, he said, and Mr Prastiyou’s mount had every opportunity to win the race.

Mr McLaughlin confirmed that the official margin between the two runners at the finish was a half neck.

Mr Walsh agreed that there had been “a bit of a brush” inside the 50 metres. Both horses had drifted out of their own accord and there had been no interference. Neither had Mr Prastiyou been inconvenienced in riding his mount out, he submitted. Mr Lowry’s mount was always holding the runner up in the last 50-100 metres after, possibly, having been headed early in the run home, Mr Walsh submitted. Mr Lowry confirmed that he had come from behind Mr Prastiyou’s mount in the straight.

Stipendiary Steward, Mr J M McLaughlin, stated that the protest was not without merit. Mr Lowry’s mount had shifted out considerably from after the home turn. He agreed that there had been one point of contact, inside the final 50 metres, as stated by the parties. He left it to the Committee to determine whether a change of placings was warranted.

Reasons For Decision:

In terms of the Rule, the first issue for the Committee to determine was whether FORGED had caused interference to HIGH PLAY in the final straight as alleged in the information. We were not satisfied that the former caused interference by its outwards movement over the final 150-200 metres. HIGH PLAY also drifted outwards at the same time and, in the Committee’s view, this could not necessarily be attributed to the movement of FORGED as, it was pointed out to us, there was at all times, until the “brush” inside the final 50 metres, a space between the two runners. Mr Prastiyou was able to ride his mount out fully over this part of the race.

We find the so called “brush” (Mr Prastiyou’s own description) to amount to interference but, having said that, it was very minor in nature. We needed to determine whether that was sufficient for us to find that, but for that, HIGH PLAY would have finished ahead of FORGED – in other words, it would have won the race – having regard to other material factors.

It was relevant that, firstly, FORGED had come from a position behind HIGH PLAY, secondly, that the interference occurred inside the final 50 metres and, thirdly, that the margin at the finish was a half neck and FORGED appeared to be holding its advantage over HIGH PLAY in the final stages. Furthermore, Mr Prastiyou did not have to stop riding his mount.

The interference, we found, was minor and not of a sufficient degree that we could be more satisfied than not that, but for it, HIGH PLAY would have finished ahead of FORGED. 

Decision:

The protest was dismissed.

It was ordered that dividends and stakes be paid in accordance with the judge’s official placings.

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