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Northern Southland TC 5 October 2019 - R 7 (instigating a protest) - Chair, Prof G Hall

Created on 10 October 2019

Rules:
869(7B)
Committee:
GHall (chair)
MConway
Respondent(s):
Mr B Barclay - Open Horseman and driver of EDIE JACCKA
Mr B Gray - trainer of EDIE JACCKA
Informant:
Mr V Munro - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number:
A9840
Horse Name:
EDIE JACCKA
Persons present:
Mr S Renault - Stipendiary Steward
Evidence:

Mr Munro alleged that in Race 7 the KUBALA SEEDS MOBILE PACE horse number 1 EDIE JACCKA shifted inside the track markers leaving the final bend and gained an advantage.

Mr Munro sought disqualification of EDIE JACCKA pursuant to r 869(7B).

Judges placings were:

1st 7 DISMARA
2nd 1 EDIE JACCKA
3RD 5 BLACK OPS
4TH 4 DREAMINSOVER

The official margins from the winner were: 1.3 L, 1.8L, 3.3L and 3.6 L.

The relevant rules and regulations provide:

869(7B) Where any horse or its sulky wheel moves inside the track marker line and gains an advantage the horse shall be disqualified from that race except where it is established that the breach was caused by interference by another horse or horseman.

Submissions For Decision:

Mr Renault, Stipendiary Steward, demonstrated on the videos that EDIE JACCKA was in the trail following STAR RULER (Mr N Williamson) as the field turned for home. STAR RULER was tiring, and the respondent was held up and was hard on Mr Williamson’s back. He demonstrated that the inside wheel of the respondent’s cart protruded inside two markers. He stated that Mr Barclay was able to improve his position as a consequence.

Mr Munro estimated that the distance EDIE JACCKA was inside the marker pegs was 15 metres. He synchronised two video angles in order to demonstrate his assessment. He demonstrated that in the Stipendiary Stewards’ opinion the respondent had obtained a run earlier than he would have done, had he not gone inside the markers. He believed Mr Barclay was 1/2 a length ahead of where he would have been had he waited for the run.

Mr Barclay stated that EDIE JACCKA was “an erratic animal”. Mr Williamson had stopped quickly. EDIE JACCKA was travelling good. He had not pushed the horse when he moved down. He thought if he had, he might have been closer to winning. He had just sat there and not chased the horse until the passing lane became available. He emphasised that STAR RULER was coming back hard, and he had had to get out of the way.

Mr Gray emphasised the safety aspect. EDIE JACCKA was clearly “climbing all over” STAR RULER. He said EDIE JACCKA had suffered interference as STAR RULER had compounded very quickly. He believed it was at the most half a length that the horse had made on the leader and that this was due to STAR RULER retreating at a rapid rate. Mr Barclay had done the best he could, otherwise EDIE JACCKA would have galloped.

Mr Munro responded that the rule made no reference to safety and he did not believe EDIE JACCKA had been interfered with.

Reasons For Decision:

We can deal with two of the respondent’s submissions quite briefly. We are satisfied that a tiring horse coming back quickly on a following runner is not interference in terms of this rule. Similarly, there is no reference in the rule to safety and, in any event, we do not believe this concern was a factor in this case. We note Mr Barclay was racing hard up against Mr Williamson’s back. Mr Barclay had the option to restrain EDIE JACCKA further, although we accept that this would have further inconvenienced the horse that was trailing EDIE JACCKA. Mr Barclay confirmed to the Committee that he had control of EDIE JACCKA at all times and thus it is our view that this option was available to him.

The issue is whether EDIE JACCKA gained an advantage. The inside wheel of the cart of EDIE JACCKA went inside and then over two markers before returning to the track proper. The Stipendiary Stewards estimate that the wheel of EDIE JACCKA was inside the markers for some 15 metres. In our assessment of the video evidence, the distance appears to be in the range of 12 to 15 metres. It is evident that Mr Barclay was intent on getting out of the way of the horse (STAR RULER) that was coming back on to him.

Significantly, in assessing whether EDIE JACCKA gained an advantage, the horse did not obtain a run that it would otherwise not have received. The passing lane run was always going to be there for the horse. EDIE JACCKA, when it reached the passing lane, was in the Stipendiary Stewards’ estimation half a length ahead of where the horse would have been had the respondent restrained his horse behind STAR RULER. Furthermore, at the time that horse was coming back on to EDIE JACCKA and when EDIE JACCKA went briefly inside the markers, the majority of the field, including the third place finisher BLACK OPS, was progressing forward wider on the track. EDIE JACCKA in fact lost ground on these horses. Any perceived advantage is due to STAR RULER retreating swiftly rather than EDIE JACCKA making ground to its inside. Mr Barclay did not push his horse forward at this time. When Mr Barclay eventually obtained the passing lane, BLACK OPS, which had been racing one out with cover, was a length to a length and a half in advance of EDIE JACCKA, whilst previously having been racing behind EDIE JACCKA, which had been trailing STAR RULER.

EDIE JACCKA quickly made up the lost ground on BLACK OPS and was half a length in advance of that horse. That margin continued for approximately 80 metres to the winning post. The margin back to the horses behind BLACK OPS was in excess of 1.5 lengths. The margins are such that we do not believe that Mr Barclay’s actions resulted in EDIE JACCKA running second in circumstances where the horse otherwise would not have obtained that finishing position.

Any horse that goes inside a marker peg on a turn, no matter to what degree, including marginally, will have obtained an advantage as a consequence of the distance travelled in the race being less than that had the horse remained within the parameters of the track. This is far from a rare raceday occurrence and it cannot follow that a horse in so doing must automatically be disqualified. It is our view that each case must be assessed on its merits, taking into account the totality of the circumstances. We are satisfied in the particular circumstances of this case that EDIE JACCKA cannot be said to have obtained an advantage in terms of r 869(7B).

Decision:

Placings are as called by the Judge. Stakes and dividends are to be paid accordingly.

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