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Auckland TC 3 December 2019 – R 7 – Chair, Mr G Jones

Created on 04 December 2019

Rules:
869(3)(b)
Committee:
GJones (chair)
ADooley
Name(s):
Mr L McCarthy - Open Horseman
Mr N Ydgren - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Informant
Mr N Ydgren - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A10749
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Careless driving
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 7, the Smith and Partners Lawyers IDOM CHAMPS Heat 4 Mobile Pace 1700m, an information was filed by Chief Stipendiary Steward Mr Ydgren alleging Open Horseman Mr L McCarthy, breached Rule 869(3)(b) when he contacted the sulky wheel of SAN CARLO near the 200 metres.

Mr McCarthy endorsed the Information ‘I do admit the breach of the rule’. At the commencement of the hearing he confirmed his plea and that he understood the rule and the nature of the charge.

Rule 869 (3)(b) provides:

No horseman in any race shall drive carelessly.

Using available video footage Mr Ydgren identified the horses involved in the incident namely, BLING IT ON (Mr L McCarthy) and SAN CARLO (Ms R Bartley). Mr Ydgren said that approaching the 200-metre mark BLING IT ON was racing 4 back on the fence trailing SAN CARLO. At that point he said Mr McCarthy was searching for a run and shifted down onto the marker-line inside of SAN CARLO. In doing so contact was made with the inside sulky wheel of SAN CARLO. As a consequence, SAN CARLO finished the remainder of the race with a punctured tyre.

Mr Ydgren acknowledged that the contact was slight and it was difficult to identify on the race films.

In explanation Mr McCarthy freely acknowledged that he made contact with the sulky wheel of SAN CARLO but stressed that he “only skimmed the wheel” by narrow margin. He said that BLING IT ON was travelling strongly in the trail and he made a split decision to shift downward onto the sprint lane. He added that it was only the second time that BLING IT ON had raced right-handed.

Decision:

Pursuant to Rule 1111(1)(d) as Mr McCarthy admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Ydgren submitted Mr McCarthy is a very busy Australian based driver. He said he usually drives in races approximately 20 to 30 times per week and his Australian disciplinary record is excellent with no recent breaches relevant to the present charge. In mitigation he said that Mr McCarthy was forthright with Stewards and should be given credit for admitting the breach at the first opportunity. He added that the breach is low-end and therefore a fine between $200 and $250 would be an appropriate penalty, with perhaps some allowance being made for the status of the race.

In his submission as to penalty Mr McCarthy asked the Committee to note that it was a low-level breach and suggested a fine would be appropriate.

Reasons For Penalty:

The JCA Penalty Guide provides a starting point of a 6-drive suspension or a $300 fine for careless driving where at any time the breach causes the driver to hit a sulky wheel.

After taking into account the submissions of both the Informant and Respondent; noting the race film and the resultant impact on the affected runner, SAN CARLOS, we have determined the breach to be low end. On that basis we adopted a $300 fine as our starting point.

This race carried a stake of $30,000 and therefore does not meet the $40,000, ‘major race’ threshold. However, given that it was a Group 3 race, we applied a $100 penalty uplift to give effect to the status of the race. After affording Mr McCarthy credit for his good record and admission of the breach, we applied a $100 reduction.

In the final result we determined that a $300 fine to be an appropriate penalty in the circumstances of this case.

Penalty:

Mr McCarthy was fined the sum of $300.

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