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Non Raceday Inquiry RIU v W Pinn - Written Decision dated 24 May 2021 - Chair, Mr N McCutcheon

Created on 31 December 2020


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

BETWEEN Mr A Coles of the Racing Integrity Unit (RIU)


AND Mr W Pinn (Class B Apprentice Jockey)


Information No: A13909

Plea: Admitted

Judicial Committee: Mr N McCutcheon (Chair)

Mr B Scott, Member

Present: Mr A Coles, Mr W Pinn, and Mr M Williamson, Stipendiary Steward

Mr D Miller assisting Mr Pinn

The Charge was heard at Te Rapa Racecourse on 22 May 2021

Date of oral decision: 22 May 2021

Date of written decision: 24 May 2021


The Committee was in receipt of confirmation that the RIU Manager had given approval for the charge to be preferred.

This matter arises from the Woodville-Pahiatua Racing Club on 9 May 2021. Mr Pinn the Rider of NOT SANTA in Race 9 (Woodville-Pahiatua Cup) is charged with an offence within the meaning of Rule 636(1)(b) in that by being the holder of a Class B Jockey Licence failed to take all reasonable and permissible measures throughout the race to give NOT SANTA full opportunity to win or obtain the best possible finishing place, in that you:

1. Failed to maintain contact with the body of the field allowing NOT SANTA to drift approximately 10 lengths behind the last horse in the race, when there was the opportunity to maintain contact with the field.

Rule 636(1)(b) states:

A person:

(b) being the rider of a horse in a race must take all reasonable and permissible measures throughout the race to ensure that his horse is given full opportunity to win the race or to obtain the best possible finishing place.

Mr Pinn who was assisted by his employer Mr D Miller said that he understood the Rule, Charge and confirmed that he admitted the breach.


Mr Williamson showed all film replays and said that NOT SANTA began awkwardly and lost ground when the start was made. Mr Williamson said that Mr Pinn then let his horse get back 10 lengths behind the second last horse and made no effort to maintain contact with the body of the field. He said approaching the 600m Mr Pinn came to the outside and that his mount ran on fairly. He added that it was unreasonable to get 10 lengths back and that Mr Pinn had not discharged his duties. Mr Williamson identified another horse that was very slow away, but said that the rider of that horse urged his mount along to be in contact with the body of the field.

Mr Pinn for his part said that his horse was slow away at Awapuni two starts ago and came from 8 lengths behind them to win. He said that the slow track at Awapuni was the big difference, as it was only a dead-4 at Woodville and that they raced quicker on that day.

Mr Miller said that there were a number of factors contributing to how the race unfolded. He said that NOT SANTA has no early speed and won in a similar manner at Awapuni two starts back. He said that NOT SANTA began awkwardly and that the track rating resulted in a strongly run mile. He added that Mr Pinn could have shown more vigour early, but as they were going hard in front that made it harder to keep up.

Mr Pinn then submitted that he thought that they would slow up and that all horses that were handy finished at the back of the field. He added that at its previous start NOT SANTA was ridden handy and stopped.

Mr Coles said that after being detached from the field by some 10 lengths, the horse was ridden with vigour from the 600m and made up good ground.


As the charge preferred under Rule 636(1)(b) was admitted the Committee deemed it to be proved.

Penalty Submissions:

Mr Coles said that the penalty submissions were similar to those made in the charge against Mr Pinn following his ride on EMPRESS QI at Whangarei on 5 May 2021 viz:

1. That Mr Pinn must be penalised for his actions in order to protect and maintain the standards set by Racing Authorities concerning public and Industry confidence.

2. Mr Pinn has had 625 race rides which have resulted in 71 wins.

3. That the breach was admitted.

4. The penalty imposed should be a deterrent. International viewers are witnessing and investing on races from New Zealand and Apprentice W Pinn’s actions or lack thereof, fall well below what is expected from any Jockey.

Mr Miller said that Mr Pinn is still learning and is new to the game. He said that he got it wrong, but that he did try.

Reasons for Penalty

The Committee considered all matters relating to penalty.

Mr Pinn’s mount began very awkwardly and lost ground which was a significant mitigating feature. Mr Pinn then did not show any vigour, with his horse dropping off by some 10 lengths behind the second to last horse. Mr Pinn appeared to be content to let his horse stay in that position until approaching the 600m when he began to urge his mount forward 3-wide, and in the final straight it ran on relatively well to finish to some 5 lengths from the winner.

The Committee noted that NOT SANTA had won two starts previously after coming from the rear of the field. Mr Pinn told the Committee that he was 8 lengths last in the early stages on that occasion.

The JCA Penalty Guide starting point is a term of suspension of 6 weeks for a breach of Rule 636(1)(b). The Committee took into account the admission of the breach, the horse’s prior racing pattern and that it was unsuccessful when it was ridden handy to the pace in an earlier race plus the fact that it had begun awkwardly on this occasion.

We consider that due to the mitigating features this breach was at the lower-end of the scale and taking into account all matters it was determined that a 3-week suspension was a condign penalty.


Mr Pinn’s Apprentice Jockey’s Licence was suspended from 10 July 2021 through to and including 31 July 2021.

N McCutcheon


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