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Non Raceday Inquiry RIU v J Dickie - Penalty Decision dated 26 April 2019 - Chair, Mr N McCutcheon

Created on 02 May 2019

BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF

THE JCA

UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003

AND IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing

BETWEEN RACING INTEGRITY UNIT (RIU)

Informant

AND JOSHUA DICKIE

Open Horseman

Respondent

Information: A12439

Judicial Committee: Mr N McCutcheon, Chairman

Mr B Scott, Member

Appearing: Mr N Ydgren, Chief Stipendiary Steward, for the Informant

Mr J Dickie, the Respondent

Mr J Dunn, Open Horseman

Date of Hearing: 26 April 2019

Date of Decision: 26 April 2019

PENALTY DECISION OF THE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

1] This was a defended hearing arising from the running of Race 6 (Avon City Ford NZ Welcome Stakes) at the NZ Metro TC Meeting conducted on 5 April 2019. Mr Ydgren filed Information No. A12439 with the JCA alleging that Mr D Dickie shifted his horse (MACH DA VINCI) down the track when not clear of ABOVE N BEYOND. This occurred on the first bend.

2] The Manager of the RIU, Mr Godber, authorized the filing of the Information pursuant to Rule 1108(2). The Charge was prosecuted by Chief Stipendiary Steward Mr Ydgren.

3] The Chairman explained the procedure that the hearing would follow to all parties present.

4] Mr Dickie confirmed that he denied the alleged breach and said that he understood the Rule and the particular charge.

5] Rule 869(3)(b) provides:

No Horseman in any race shall drive: (b) carelessly

6] Mr Ydgren showed all four angles of film replays and identified the horses and drivers involved. Mr Ydgren said that Mr Dickie drew barrier two and racing into the first bend he, Mr Dickie, had made an attempt to get to the front but was unsuccessful. He then restrained his horse in an attempt to take the trail that had become available because Mr Dunn’s horse had paced roughly in the early stages and had conceded some ground on the two breakaway leaders. Mr Dunn’s horse did recover and racing into the bend Mr Dickie attempted to slot into the trail when not clear to do so and Mr Dunn was forced to restrain his horse and as a consequence lost his racing position.

7] Mr Ydgren added that the films showed that it was Mr Dunn’s position and that Mr Dickie was not entitled to shift in. He said that contact was not made but Mr Dunn did ease. Mr Ydgren made reference to Mr Dunn’s horse ABOVE N BEYOND‘s run after the alleged incident and said that it may have finished closer if it had maintained the trailing position. (ABOVE N BEYOND finished in 4th placing)

8] Mr Dickie asked Mr Ydgren what his last comment had to do with the careless driving charge as in his opinion it was irrelevant. Mr Ydgren said that he was only pointing out that the horse’s chances may have been affected. Mr Dickie asked Mr Ydgren that when Mr Dunn was on his inside did he tighten him? Mr Ydgren responded by saying that he was dictated inwards and did not agree that he was not tightened.

9] Mr Dunn was then called as a witness for the prosecution. Mr Ydgren asked Mr Dunn to confirm that he was questioned on the night about the incident with Mr Dunn confirming that this was correct. In answer to questions from Mr Ydgren Mr Dunn said that his horse was racing roughly early in the race. He said that he steadied as he was going forward at the same time Mr Dickie was coming back.

10] When asked if he was up inside Mr Dickie’s wheel in the run to the first bend Mr Dunn responded by saying that it was hard to say as one film angle showed that he was, with the other showing that he was not.

11] In answer to a question from the Committee Mr Dunn said that it was hard to tell if Mr Dickie took his line. He said that on the night he thought he did but after seeing all of the films he could not honestly say that he did as one film showed that he had enough room to shift in. He added that he was only trying to make the position his as was Mr Dickie. Mr Dunn also said in answer to a question from the Committee that he did not call out to Mr Dickie.

12] The only question Mr Dickie put to Mr Dunn was that did he know he was coming down to which Mr Dunn responded in the affirmative. Mr Dickie said that he was comfortable with all the other evidence that Mr Dunn had put forward.

13] Mr Dickie in his defence said that the top camera did not look the best but another angle showed that he was clearly in the running line outside the leader’s wheel. He said that at the time he felt that there was always room to drop in and that one angle supports that and if he had thought Mr Dunn was there then he would not have elected to do that. He added that in his opinion what he did was not careless.

SUMMATION

14] Mr Ydgren said that there was not room for Mr Dickie to shift in; he obviously wanted to shift into a more advantageous position which was the trail and that he did not fully take into account that Mr Dunn’s horse was improving and that he shifted in when Mr Dunn did have his feet in that run, therefore he has not displayed the necessary care required of him. The Shifting Ground regulations are quite clear that a shift must be made in a manner which accommodates the other party. Mr Ydgren said that it was misjudgment on the part of Mr Dickie. Mr Ydgren then read the Shifting Ground Regulations.

15] Mr Dickie said that the last 400m of the race was irrelevant. He said that at the time he thought that there was sufficient room for him to shift which is supported by one film angle and that there was no contact with Mr Dunn and that he did not go over a marker. He said that the head-on camera showed how far out he was and that he then dropped into the trail and that was how it ended up.

REASONS FOR DECISION

16] The Committee found that in the run to the first bend Mr Dickie attempted to take the lead off the inside leader and that when he failed to do so he eased his horse. At that time Mr Dunn’s horse ABOVE N BEYOND, which had paced roughly early after leaving the gate, had settled into a nice pacing gait and had improved up against the marker pegs to be inside Mr Dickie’s wheel. The film replays were reviewed at length by the Committee. It was observed that Mr Dunn steadied his horse which allowed Mr Dickie to slot into the trail. It was observed by the Committee that at the time Mr Dunn steadied his horse there was still sufficient room inside Mr Dickie’s wheel for him to have maintained his position if he had so desired. Taking into account all of the evidence presented and in particular the evidence of Mr Dunn when he said that “he could not honestly say that Mr Dickie had taken his line” the Committee determined that Mr Dickie had not driven carelessly.

DECISION

17] The charge of careless driving preferred against Mr Dickie was dismissed.

Noel McCutcheon

Chair

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