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Whangarei RC 17 December 2019 - R 4 (instigating a protest) - Chair, Mr G Jones

Created on 18 December 2019

Rules:
642(1)
Committee:
GJones (chair)
ADooley
Respondent(s):
Ms T Thornton - Rider of SPELTERINI
Informant:
Mr A Calder - Rider of SEPELLA
Information Number:
A11288
Horse Name:
SPELTERINI
Persons present:
Mr A Calder - Rider of SEPELLA
Ms T Thornton - Rider of SPELTERINI
Ms D Waddell - Trainer of SPELTERINI
Mr A Coles - Stipendiary Steward
Evidence:

Following the running of race 4, the Hirepool 1400 metres, an Information was filed Instigating a Protest pursuant to Rule 642(1). The Informant, Mr A Calder, alleged that SPELTERINI, or its rider placed 1st by the Judge interfered with the chances of SEPELLA placed 2nd by the Judge.

The interference was alleged to have occurred in the final straight.

The Judge's placing were as follows:

1st No. 8 SPELTERINI

2nd No. 9 SEPELLA

3rd No. 10 OUR STILETTO

The official margin between 1st and 2nd was a head.

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”.

For the purposes of Rule 642 “interference” is defined as:

(i) a horse crossing another horse without being at least its own length and one other clear length in front of such other horse at the time of crossing;

(ii) a horse jostling with another horse, unless it is proved that such jostling was caused by the fault of some other horse or Rider or that the horse or Rider jostled with was partly at fault; or

(iii) a horse itself, or its Rider, in any way interfering with another horse or the Rider of another horse in a Race, unless it is proved that such interference was caused by the fault of some other horse or Rider or that the horse or Rider interfered with was partly at fault.

All connections present acknowledged they understood the Rule.

Submissions For Decision:

Mr Coles demonstrated the incident using the available video footage. There was no rear-view footage.

Mr Calder submitted that SPELTERINI and SEPELLA were racing side by side passing the 100 metres. He said that SPELTERINI was a head in front of SEPELLA when it shifted out and made contact with his mount 3 strides before the finish line. He said as a result SEPELLA lost momentum. He acknowledged that he did not stop riding his mount out to the end of the race.

Ms Thornton said that SEPELLA made an inward movement toward SPELTERINI in the final straight. She accepted that brief contact occurred 3 strides before the finish, but said that at no stage was SEPELLA ever going to finish ahead of SPELTERINI.

Ms Waddell submitted that although there was minor contact 3 strides before the finish, there was no way that SEPELLA was going to finish ahead of SPELTERINI.

Mr Coles submitted that there was slight contact 3 or 4 strides before the finish line and the Committee had to determine whether that cost SEPELLA the winning of the race.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee carefully considered all evidence and submissions presented and reviewed the video footage several times.

In our analysis of the race films we observed that at the 200-metre mark there was a clear gap between the 2 runners with both racing on level terms with each other. At the 100 metres we noted SEPELLA was slightly ahead of SPELTERINI. The films clearly showed that 3 strides before the finish line SPELTERINI did make firm contact with SEPELLA who as a result was only slightly inconvenienced. Further, immediately after contact was made there was a clear gap between the 2 horses over the concluding stages and SPELTERINI held ascendency, albeit there was a small margin at the finish.

Although we found that interference did occur, we were not sufficiently satisfied that it had a bearing on the final placings. Accordingly, after weighing up all the factors including the level of interference and it’s proximity to the finish and the head margin between the 2 horses at the finish, the Committee is of the opinion that despite the interference having occurred, SEPELLA would not have beaten SPELTERINI.

Decision:

The protest is dismissed and the Judge's placing’s shall stand.

The Committee authorised the payment of stakes and dividends in accordance with its decision.

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