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Wellington RC 3 December 2016 - R 1 (instigating a protest) - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 05 December 2016

NMoffatt (chair)
Mr J Richards - Trainer of ROYAL SUCCESS
Mr P Lock - Trainer of MR LUIGI
Information Number:
Horse Name:
Persons present:
Mr S Spratt - Rider of MR LUIGI
Mr M Cameron - Rider of ROYAL SUCESS
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward

Following Race 1, Wallaceville Estate 1400m, a protest was lodged pursuant to Rule 642(1) by Mr P Lock alleging that horse number 10 (ROYAL SUCCESS) or its rider placed 1st by the Judge interfered with the chances of horse number 3 (MR LUIGI), placed 3rd by the Judge.

The information alleged interference near the 1000m.

Judges placings were:
1st - ROYAL SUCCESS (10) 
3rd - MR LUIGI (3)
4th - JUST A LOVER (5)
5th - WILLS ROAD (8)

The official margins were ½ length between first and second placed horses and 3 lengths between second and third.

Submissions For Decision:

Mr Goodwin used the video coverage to identify all the horses involved in the incident and Mr Lock, who lodged the protest, explained his reasons for sounding the siren. He showed on the video where MR LUIGI was badly checked, as a result of ROYAL SUCCESS coming across, at approximately the 1000m mark. Mr Lock described the incident as his horse being “severely checked back”. He said MR LUIGI ended up second to last and had to work its way around the outside of the field. The horse not only lost its preferred position in the field but also its momentum. It was Mr Lock’s opinion that the incident cost him 3 lengths and, as a result, a closer placing.

Ms Spratt (rider of MR LUIGI) said she was severely checked and not only lost a lot of ground but also her position in behind the leaders. As a result she ran into more traffic but, when clear, flew home. If she had been in the trail and finished in the same manner MR LUIGI would have been right in contention.

Mr Cameron (rider of ROYAL SUCCESS) said he caused a “small check” to MR LUIGI but believed that horse lost only ½ to ¾ lengths and Ms Spratt had every chance to make up ground after the incident. He said his horse was always travelling the better and MR LUIGI had plenty of room to improve forward however Ms Spratt was comfortable to stay where she was.

Mr Richards said he agreed with Mr Cameron in that MR LUIGI lost only a ½ length in the incident and that Ms Spratt had every opportunity from that point onwards. He emphasised that the interference occurred well back at the 1000m.

For the Stewards Mr Oatham said it was clear that interference had occurred and it was his opinion that MR LUIGI lost approximately 1 length. He said the Committee had to consider the margin of 3 ½ lengths at the finish.

Reasons For Decision:

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.

Rule 641 requires us in the first instance to determine if interference occurred. There was no doubt that MR LUIGI was checked and lost ground when ROYAL SUCCESS ducked in sharply at the 1000m stage of the race. The evidence varied as to how much ground was lost by MR LUIGI but we estimate it to be approximately one length.

In order to consider a change of placings we have to be satisfied that had the interference not occurred MR LUIGI would have beaten ROYAL SUCCESS. Taking into account the stage of the race that the incident occurred and the combined margins of 3 ½ lengths we were not convinced that, free of interference, MR LUIGI would have won the race.


Accordingly the protest was dismissed and placing stand as called by the judge. Dividends were directed to be paid accordingly.

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