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Canterbury R 21 April 2018 - R 8 - Chair, Mr S Ching

Created on 25 April 2018

SChing (chair)
Mr B Murray - Licensed Apprentice Jockey (Class B)
Mr D Walsh - Apprentice Jockey Mentor assisting Mr Murray
M Davidson
Stipendiary Steward
Mr M Davidson - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Excessive use of the whip

Following the running of Race 8, the Coca Cola Canterbury Gold Cup, an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr M Davidson, against Licensed Apprentice Jockey (Class B), Mr B Murray, alleging that Mr Murray, as the rider of FLYING SARDINE in the race, “used his whip in an excessive manner prior to the 100m.”

Mr Murray was present at the hearing of the Information and was assisted by NZTR Apprentice Jockey Mentor, Mr D Walsh. Mr Murray had endorsed the information that the breach was admitted which he confirmed at the hearing. He also confirmed that he understood the rule he was being charged with.

Rule 638 provides as follows:
(3) A Rider shall not:
(b) strike a horse with a whip in a manner or to an extent which is:
(ii) excessive

The “Guidelines with Respect to Acceptable Use of the Whip” provide as follows:
Without affecting the generality of Rule 638(3)(b) a rider may be penalised if their whip use is outside of the following guidelines:

Inside the final 600 metres of any Race, official trial or jump-out a horse may be struck with the drawn whip up to five times after which the rider must cease their use of the whip for a minimum of five strides before striking the horse again with the drawn whip, with this restriction to apply prior to the final 100 metres. The whip may then be used at the rider’s discretion until the winning post is reached.

Prior to the final 600 metres of a race, official trial or jump-out the use of the drawn whip is acceptable if used in moderation and not continually.

Mr Davidson showed video replays of the final 300-400 metres of the race. He pointed out Mr Murray riding FLYING SARDINE, racing towards the outside of the track and improving. He said that Mr Murray drew the whip inside the 400m and used it on 11 occasions with only brief pauses of 2 or 3 strides on 2 to 3 occasions prior to the 100m. Mr Davidson stated that Mr Murray had failed to cease for the minimum 5 strides after 5 strikes of the whip as required under the Whip Guidelines. He submitted that the breach was mid-range.
Mr Murray opted to make no comment on the breach.


Mr Murray having admitted the breach; the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Davidson told the Committee that Mr Murray had a record that showed 3 previous breaches of this rule since March this year being a $300 fine at Wyndham on 11 March 2018, $600 fine at Ashburton followed by a 6 National day suspension at the Beaumont meeting at Otago. Mr Davidson stated that the JCA Penalty Guide provided a 6 to 8 National day suspension for a 3rd and subsequent breach of this rule within a 12-month period. He stated that the breach was mid-level and submitted that a 7 to 8 National Day suspension be considered as penalty.

Mr Murray, with Mr Walsh’s assistance, requested a deferment until after racing at Otago on 24 April.

Reasons For Penalty:

In determining penalty, the Committee had regard to the starting point of a 6 to 8 National day suspension, mitigation inclusive, for a 3rd or subsequent breach of this rule. We agreed with the Stewards that the breach was at a mid-level. We therefore adopted a 7-day starting point. An aggravating factor was Mr Murray’s record which showed 3 breaches of this rule since March 11 this year. This factor we determined warranted an uplift in penalty which we set at 2 National days. A further aggravating factor was the status of the race being Group 3 with a stake payable of $100,000. This factor warranted an uplift in penalty which we set at 2 National days. The Committee therefore determined that an 11 National Day suspension was an appropriate penalty.

Mr Murray's request for a deferment until after racing on 24 April was granted.


Mr Murray is suspended from the conclusion of racing 24 April up to and including 9 May 2018.

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