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Ashburton RC 30 August 2013 - R 5 (request for a ruling)

Created on 09 September 2013

SChing (chair)
Stipendiary Steward(s):
Mr J McLaughlin - Stipendiary Steward
Mr A Freeman - Licensed Trainer
Information Number:

Prior to the running of Race 5, the Drummond & Etheridge Maiden 1400m, an Information for a Request for a Ruling was filed by Licensed Trainer Mr A Freeman, to determine whether Mr Freeman was entitled to late scratch NANCHO LASS due to the state of the track.

The Information read as follows:

I, the above named Informant seek a ruling in relation to Rule 534(2)(b) from the Judicial Committee in that trainer A Freeman request to late scratch NANCHO LASS from race 5 due to the state of the track.”

Rule 534(2)(a) (b) reads as follows:

(2) (a) If, after the scratching deadline (as specified for the relevant Race Meeting in accordance with Rule 510(d)(v) or as amended by NZTR from time to time) on the relevant Race day, a Trainer or an Owner or lessee (as the case may be) or his Agent or its Racing Manager wishes to scratch a horse from a Race he must (whether by production of a veterinary certificate acceptable to the Stipendiary Steward or otherwise) attempt to satisfy the Stipendiary Steward that there are circumstances which warrant the horse being scratched and that he is therefore entitled to scratch it after that time. If the Stipendiary Steward is so satisfied, the Stipendiary Steward may authorise the Trainer or Owner or lessee (as the case may be) or his Agent or its Racing Manager to scratch the horse.

(b) If the Stipendiary Steward is not so satisfied, he shall complete an information and file it with the Registrar for the Judicial Committee and the Judicial Committee shall then determine whether there are such circumstances and whether the Trainer or Owner or lessee (as the case may be) or his Agent or its Racing Manager is authorised to scratch the horse after that time.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Freeman gave evidence that yesterday, the official track reading was a Slow 9. He stated that he was hoping for improving track conditions for the meeting, as he said NANCHO LASS “did not go on a Heavy 10”. He also stated the owner did not want the horse to start on a heavy 10 track. They were also concerned that the horse would have a severe amount of trouble in obtaining a start in the future, if the horse “failed to go on a Heavy 10”, when track conditions were right for a start. Mr Freeman stated he was unaware that there had been rain overnight at Ashburton. He said he left Wingatui between 6.30 and 6.45am on the morning of the races but did not check with the Racing Bureau at NZTR as to the official track conditions posted for the morning. He said he looked on the NZTR website using his phone which showed a slow 9 reading.

Mr McLaughlin gave evidence that the official track conditions were updated at 10am on Thursday 29 August to show a Slow9 track. He said the acting track manager, Mr Gibbon, carried out a penetrometer very early this morning at well before 6.30am with the website being updated shortly afterwards at 6.31am to show a Heavy 10 track. Mr McLaughlin stated that he thought it was incredible that after a cold wet southerly night in Dunedin, that Mr Freeman would not check the track conditions with the Racing Bureau, who are on duty from 6am, as to the updated track conditions for the meeting prior to travelling north. Had Mr Freeman done so prior to leaving Wingatui he would have had ample time to scratch NANCHO LASS by the required time.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee carefully considered all evidence and submissions. We found that NANCHO LASS had raced on a total of 7 times with starts on Good - 3, Dead-1, Slow-1 and Heavy 2 starts. NANCHO LASS in 7 starts had created no form within these starts and had not earned any stake money.

The Committee were satisfied that the track was officially declared a Slow 9 on the day prior to racing and Heavy 10 on the NZTR website, at 6.31am this morning, after overnight showers. We are also satisfied that there has been no material change in track conditions since official scratching time this morning. We find fault with Mr Freeman in that he did not check with NZTR as to the state of the track prior to commencing or during his journey North, when there was ample time to assess the track conditions and make an informed decision about starting NANCHO LASS.

The Committee therefore found no grounds to allow Mr Freeman to scratch NANCHO LASS from Race 5 at today’s meeting.


The Committee were not satisfied that there were grounds to scratch NANCHO LASS and therefore ruled Mr Freeman’s request to scratch NANCHO LASS be declined.

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