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Auckland RC 28 March 2015 - R 8 (heard on 6 April 2015 at Ellerslie)



638(1)(d)

RACEDAY JUDICIAL COMMITTEE DECISION

Adjourned Hearing from 28 March until 6 April 2015.

Informant: Mr M Williamson - Stipendiary Steward

Respondent: Mr B Hutton - Licensed Apprentice Rider

Information No: A3579

Meeting: Auckland Racing Club

Date: 28 March 2015 (heard 6 April 2015)

Venue: Ellerslie

Rule No: 638(1) (d)

Race: 8

Judicial Committee: A Dooley, Chairman – R Seabrook, Committee Member

Plea: Admitted

Persons Present: Mr A Coles – Stipendiary Steward, Mr M Dillon – assisting Mr Hutton

Charge: Careless Riding

Evidence

Following the running of race 8, an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1) (d). The Informant, Mr Williamson, alleged that Mr Hutton allowed his mount SIR ANDREW to shift out over the final 200 metres causing interference to VIBRANT MOSS (M McNab).

The Information was served on Mr Hutton after the last race on 28 March and he did not enter a plea. Mr Hutton requested an adjournment to the hearing because there was no suitable License Holder available to assist him. The Committee granted an adjournment with the hearing taking place on 6 April prior to race 1.

Mr Hutton acknowledged that he understood the nature of the charge, the Rule and confirmed his admission of the breach. Mr Dillon assisted Mr Hutton at the hearing.

In response to a question from the Committee, Mr Dillon confirmed that he is Mr Hutton’s new Manager/Agent.

Rule 638(1) (d) provides: A Rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Judicial Committee considers to be careless.

Mr Coles demonstrated on the video films that SIR ANDREW was racing in a 5 wide position passing the 350 metres with VIBRANT MOSS racing directly to its outside. He then pointed out that SIR ANDREW commenced to drift out slowly. He noted that Mr Hutton did stop riding with his whip briefly but then continued to do so resulting in his mount moving out and dictating the line of VIBRANT MOSS. Mr Coles submitted that Mr Hutton was only 1 length clear of VIBRANT MOSS. He said this caused Mr McNab to steady his mount which certainly impeded the rightful line of running of VIBRANT MOSS. He identified on the back on film that Mr Hutton continued to shift out which he believed took Mr McNab out a further 2 horse widths. He noted that SIR ANDREW ducked out sharply near the 100 metres and again impeded VIBRANT MOSS.

Mr Dillon submitted that Mr McNab did not stop riding VIBRANT MOSS and he believed Mr Hutton had done his best to keep his mount straight. He pointed out that most of the horses in the race were racing well away from the inside running rail. Mr Dillon advised the Committee that SIR ANDREW has had an operation on his knees. He added that SIR ANDREW was returning to the races after a long spell and the horse was getting tired in the ground. He said the interference was minimal and it cost SIR ANDREW 1 length when running out.

Mr Hutton had nothing further to add.

Decision

As Mr Hutton admitted the breach we find the charge proved.

Submissions for Penalty

Mr Williamson produced Mr Hutton's record which showed 3 previous breaches under this Rule since resuming race riding in October 2014. He said the most recent breach was on 17 January which attracted a 6 day suspension. He submitted Mr Hutton has a responsibility and duty of care when shifting ground. He said on this occasion Mr Hutton has moved out 4 to 5 horse widths in the final straight and there was not enough effort displayed by Mr Hutton to keep SIR ANDREW straight. He said although the interference to VIBRANT MOSS was low the consequences of his riding actions were that there was a change of placings and any penalty should reflect that. He added the connections of SIR ANDREW lost first prize money. He said that Mr Hutton’s record is of some concern to the Stewards with this being his 4th suspension in the last 5 months. He submitted a suspension of not less than 6 days would be appropriate.

Mr Dillon advised the Committee that Mr Hutton had engagements at Te Awamutu on 8 April and sought a deferment to his proposed suspension. He said Mr Hutton has been riding in the lower North Island recently and in particular for Mr Gray. He assessed the interference as low and submitted a 4 day suspension would be appropriate.

When tested about riding at Woodville on 16 April Mr Dillon said it was his intention for Mr Hutton to ride at the Central Districts race meeting on industry days.

Mr Hutton confirmed that he only rode in the North Island which Mr Williamson acknowledged.

Reasons for Penalty

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented. We have adopted 5 riding days as the starting point in considering the term of suspension for this careless riding charge. The mitigating facts are Mr Hutton’s admission of the breach and we assess the level of carelessness as low range. However, the films clearly show that Mr Hutton was not the required distance clear when dictating the line of VIBRANT MOSS on more than one occasion in the straight. Mr Hutton failed in his obligation to straighten SIR ANDREW when it continued to shift out wider on the track and impede VIBRANT MOSS’s progress notably near the100 metres. As a consequence of Mr Hutton’s actions SIR ANDREW was relegated from his 1st placing. The Committee regard these as aggravating facts.

We assess Mr Hutton’s record under this Rule as fair even taking into account he is an apprentice rider.

The Committee note that over the final 75 metres when VIBRANT MOSS had an uninterrupted run to the finish line she made up approximately 1 length on SIR ANDREW.

After taking into account all the above factors the Committee considers an appropriate penalty is a 5 day suspension.

Penalty

We grant Mr Hutton’s request to seek a deferment to his suspension as per Rule 1106(2).

Accordingly, Mr Hutton had his license to ride in races suspended for a period to commence after racing on 8 April and conclude after racing on 17 April 2015 (5 North Island days).

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