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Ashburton TC 12 January 2021 - R 9 (instigating a protest) - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 14 January 2021

RMcKenzie (chair)
G C Telfer
Licensed Graduation Driver / Licence to Train
C M Tibbs
Stipendiary Steward
Information Number:
Horse Name:
Prince Ranier
Persons present:
M G Heenan
Licensed Open Driver
N G McIntyre
Manager of Stewards

Following the running of Race 9, Studholme Park Yearling Draft 2021 Handicap Trot, an Information instigating a protest was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Ms C M Tibbs, on behalf of BOYZ INVASION (M G Heenan), placed 2nd by the Judge, against PRINCE RANIER (G C Telfer), placed 1st by the Judge on the ground of “interference near the 60 metres when PRINCE RANIER shifted inwards into the passing lane with BOYZ INVASION having to be steadied”.

Mr Telfer, part-owner, trainer and driver of PRINCE RANIER was present at the hearing of the Information.

The Judge’s official placings were as follows:

1st    4  Prince Ranier
2nd 17  Boyz Invasion
3rd    3  Beyond The Horizon
4th    8  Majestic Hurricane
5th  13  Arran Chief

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

Rule 869A provides as follows:

(2) When a placed horse or its driver causes interference to another placed horse and the Judicial Committee is satisfied that the horse interfered with would have finished ahead of that horse that, or whose driver, caused the interference the Judicial Committee must, in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed, place the horse that, or whose driver, caused the interference immediately after the horse interfered with.

Submissions For Decision:

Ms Tibbs had Manager of Stewards, Mr N G McIntyre, show head-on and side-on video replays of the final 200 metres of the race. He pointed out both runners – PRINCE RANIER out wide towards the middle of the track, having avoided a number of breaking runners, and BOYZ INVASION against the markers in the passing lane and improving quickly through the disrupted field. Both runners had clear and unobstructed runs to the finishing line from the 200 metres, he said.

He then showed PRINCE RANIER proceed to shift in approximately four sulky widths, into the passing lane, resulting in Mr Heenan having to take hold and being deprived of his clear and unobstructed run. At approximately 65 metres from the finishing line, Mr Heenan's hands could be seen to steady before getting a run and have to steady again before finishing in 2nd position, beaten by a long neck.

Mr McIntyre said that Stewards were alleging that, had Mr Heenan had a clear and unobstructed run to the line as he was entitled to, he would have beaten Mr Telfer’s runner.

Mr Heenan said he could not say for certain that he would have won – one could never say that, he said. He said that Mr Telfer’s horse had run in when he was trying to drive his horse out, forcing him to steady or go over the markers. He believed that there was “a reasonable likelihood” that he would have won the race. He was not able to drive his runner out. He pointed out on the video replay the point at which he had to take a hold and cease driving the horse out.

Mr McIntyre showed on the video replay the distance from the 200 metres that Mr Heenan had to make up, probably, 3 lengths prior to being stopped at the 65 metres while still making ground.

Mr Telfer accepted that his horse had run in. He asked Mr Heenan if there was a run for him on the inside to which Mr Heenan replied there was not. Mr Telfer suggested that Mr Heenan may have been able to come to the outside if he feared that he was going to be denied an inside run. This was discussed, and the outcome of the discussion was that such an action would not have been practical. Mr Telfer said that he believed that there had been a run for Mr Heenan. 

Reasons For Decision:

After the field turned for home, a number of leading runners broke, leaving PRINCE RANIER, which had been racing in about 6th position, in the clear and in the lead. In the meantime, BOYZ INVASION had improved quickly in the vacant passing lane. As pointed out by Mr McIntyre, the latter had a clear run to the finish. However, from about the 200 metres, PRINCE RANIER shifted down the track, under a drive from Mr Telfer, a conservative four sulky widths and into the passing lane. The head-on video graphically showed how the progress of BOYZ INVASION, which was finishing quickly, was impeded over the final 60-70 metres by PRINCE RANIER shifting into the passing lane. Interference had, clearly, taken place.

The task for the Committee then was to determine whether, in its view, BOYZ INVASION would have beaten PRINCE RANIER but for that interference. In determining this, the final margin of a long neck was a significant factor in the Committee’s finding that it would have. Other relevant factors were the distance over which BOYZ INVASION was held up and the ground that it was making up on PRINCE RANIER prior to running out of room, rendering Mr Telfer unable to drive his horse out and having to restrain it.

The Committee was satisfied to the required standard that BOYZ INVASION would have beaten PRINCE RANIER but for the interference suffered in the final 60-70 metres of the race.


The protest was upheld and PRINCE RANIER was relegated from 1st placing to 2nd.

Consequent upon the relegation, the amended result for the race is as follows:

1st  17  Boyz Invasion
2nd  4  Prince Ranier
3rd   3  Beyond The Horizon
4th   8  Majestic Hurricane
5th 13  Arran Chief

It was ordered that dividends and stakes be paid in accordance with that amended result.

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