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Wellington RC 11 April 2015 - R 7 (instigating a protest)

Created on 13 April 2015

Rules:
642(1)
Committee:
PWilliams (chair)
NMcCutcheon
Respondent(s):
Ms E Howarth - co-trainer of "Jackfrost"
Informant:
MR B Lammas - rider of "Running Late"
Information Number:
A 2714
Horse Name:
JACKFROST
Persons present:
Mr R Hutchings - rider of "Jackfrost"
Mr G Nicholson - trainer of "Running Late
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Mr R Neal - Co-Chief Stipendiary Steward
Mr T Barton - Journalist "Dominion Post"
Evidence:

Following the running of race 7, the “Diamond One Cup”, Information A2714 instigating a protest was filed by Jockey Mr B Lammas alleging a breach of Rule 642(1). The information stated that “Jackfrost” or its rider Mr R Hutchings interfered with the chances of “Running Late” ridden by Mr Lammas “over the final stages”.

The judge’s placings were:-

1st     Jackfrost (7)
2nd= Running Late (1) and Postboy (4)
3rd    Diamantine (2)
4th    Carlton Princess (9)
5th    Katie McKeen (6)

The margin between the winner and the dead heaters was a long neck.

Rule 642(1) states:-

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”.

Submissions For Decision:

Stipendiary Steward Mr Goodwin used the head-on film at approximately the 300m point to identify the two horses concerned. The view of the final 200m of the race was replayed several times during the hearing as the parties spoke as was the side-on and rear view films of the incident.

Mr Lammas said Mr Hutchings, in moving from a position on the outside rail into a marginal gap and to a position on his outside, had made contact with him near the 100m mark. He said following the contact his horse was momentarily off stride and he had to stop riding and balance it up before he was able to kick on to the finish. Mr Lammas said had Mr Hutchings not moved inwards and taken his line contact would not have occurred and he would have gone on and won the race.

Mr Nicholson said contact occurred over 3 strides and a distance of 50m before Mr Hutchings pulled off. He said his horse had lost its momentum and had Mr Hutchings not made contact he would never had got the gap and been able to go on and win the race. He said Mr Hutchings had come in from the outside fence and pushed his way into a gap that wasn’t there and had the contact not occurred his horse “Running Late” clearly would have won the race.

Mr Hutchings said he was struggling to get a run in a position on the outside fence. He said he moved back in and was entitled to take the run he did and quickly made up a lot of ground. He said as he moved into the gap Mr Lammas also moved out some 3 horse widths which resulted in the contact being made. He said his horse was lightly tried in the final stages and with margin at the line being a long neck and there was no way “Running Late” was ever going to beat him.

Ms Howarth agreed with Mr Hutchings that Mr Lammas had moved in immediately prior to contact being made and that her horse was always travelling well enough to win the race.

Mr Goodwin said the films were clear and showed there was a gap for Mr Hutchings to take and that most of the movement in the incident was the outwards movement of “Running Late”. He said it was the Stewards' view that the protest had next to no merit.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee has reviewed the head-on and side-on films of the incident several times. The head-on film passing the 300m mark clearly shows Mr Lammas on “Running Late” closest to the running rail, albeit in mid-track, with Mr Hutchings on “Jackfrost” on the outside of the 7 horse field running close to the outside running rail and several lengths behind Mr Lammas. Mr Hutchings then commenced to take a large gap to his inside that he was clearly entitled to and under a strong ride came up on the outside of Mr Lammas near the 100m mark. At that point “Running Late” moved out approximately 3 horse widths and made contact with “Jackfrost”. However, “Jackfrost” was clearly going much better before and after the contact and won the race easing down. The Committee does not believe that had contact not occurred "Running Late" would have finished ahead of "Jackfrost".

Decision:
The protest is dismissed and authorisation is given for the payment of all dividends and stakes based on the judge’s placings above.
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