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Wellington RC 21 Janaury 2012 - R 5 (instigating a protest)

Created on 23 January 2012

Rules:
642(1)
Committee:
NMoffatt (chair)
NMcCutcheon
Respondent(s):
P McKay - Licensed Trainer
Informant:
V Colgan - Licensed Rider
Information Number:
A3074
Horse Name:
UNDISCLOSED
Persons present:
Mr G Richardson - Trainer of VILLIFYE
Mr D Johnson - Rider of DISCLOSED
Mr P McKay - Trainer of DISCLOSED
Mr J Oatham - Stipendiary Steward
Mr R Neal - Stipendiary Steward
Mr C George - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Evidence:

Following Race 5 a protest was lodged pursuant to Rule 642(1).

Mr V Colgan alleged that horse number 3 (UNDISCLOSED) or its rider placed 2nd by the Judge interfered with the chances of horse number 9 (VILLIFYE) placed 4th by the Judge. The interference occurred over the concluding stages.

Judges placings were:

1st FAIRWAY WISH
2ND UNDISCLOSED
3rd FLASH HAPI
4th VILLIFYE
5th FINAL TOUCH

The official margins were ½ neck, a neck and a nose.

Submissions For Decision:

Mr Colgan initially referred to the head-on film to show his position just in behind Ms Johnson’s mount UNDISCLOSED. At this stage of the race Ms Johnson was approximately 3 or 4 horse widths off the fence. She then started to move outwards several horse-widths taking Mr Colgan’s mount VILLIFYE out with her over extra ground. The last 100 metres of the race was when it cost him the most ground. Mr Colgan said the side-on film showed him riding strongly but having to adapt his riding style when UNDISCLOSED dictated his line of running. He said he had to stop riding for the last 40 – 50 metres. The rear-view film completed his evidence.

Mr Richardson agreed entirely with Mr Colgan’s evidence and had nothing further to add.

Ms Johnson said while her horse had definitely moved outwards Mr Colgan did not have to stop riding and they both continued riding with vigour to the line. She said her horse UNDISCLOSED actually kicked on strongly when VILLIFYE came up on her outside and it never looked like getting past her.

Mr McKay said as he watched the race he could see his horse UNDISCLOSED on a slow outward movement but there was no contact with VILLIFYE and Mr Colgan never had to stop riding. He said VILLIFYE was never going to get up and beat UNDISCLOSED as shown by his horse rallying and running home strongly when VILLIFYE came alongside. Mr McKay said if the horses had run in a straight line UNDISCLOSED would have beaten VILLIFYE by an even bigger margin.

When asked to give the Stewards’ opinion Mr Oatham played the head-on and side-on videos. He showed at the 100 metre mark how UNDISCLOSED moved outwards approximately four horse widths dictating the line of VILLIFYE. At the 50 metre mark Mr Colgan put his whip away for four strides while continuing to be dictated outwards. Mr Oatham said in the stewards’ view the protest had merit.

Reasons For Decision:

The committee carefully considered all of the evidence and revisited the three views of the incident.

The protest rule states: If a placed horse or its Rider causes interference within the meaning of this Rule 642 (1) to another placed horse, and the Judicial Committee is of the opinion that the horse 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.

There does not have to be contact between two horses for interference to have occurred. We noted the significant outward movement by UNDISCLOSED over the final stages of the race which forced VILLIFYE off its rightful line of running. There was no doubt that interference occurred but in deciding whether to relegate UNDISCLOSED, we had to be satisfied that VILLIFYE would have beaten that horse had both horses run in a straight line. To help determine this we looked at how both horses were racing prior to the interference, how they finished the race off and the margin between them at the finish line. The side-on view did not convince us that VILLIFYE was taking ground off UNDISCLOSED and with the combined margins of a neck and a nose we were left with some doubt that VILLIFYE would have beaten UNDISCLOSED had it encountered an unhampered run. The result may well have been different if VILLIFYE had lost momentum and had to rebalance and/or the margin had been closer.

Decision:

The protest was therefore dismissed and dividends were directed to be paid accordingly.

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