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Auckland RC 1 January 2019 - R 5 – Chair, Mr G Jones

Created on 03 January 2019

GJones (chair)
Mr J Riddell - Senior Jockey
Mr A Coles - Stipendiary Steward
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

This charge arises from the running of race 5, the Valachi Downs Royal Stakes, Group 2 race with stake money of $100,000. Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr J Oatham filed an Information pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d) alleging senior rider Mr J Riddell (SECRET ALLURE) permitted his mount to shift in near the 1700 metres when insufficiently clear of LUMINOUS which was crowded on to INITIATIVE.

Mr Riddell acknowledged that he understood the nature of the charge and the Rule. He also confirmed that he did admit the breach.

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

Stipendiary Steward, Mr Coles identified the alleged incident using available video footage. He referred to 4 angles. Passing the 1800 metres he identified SECRET ALLURE who was racing in a 3-wide position. Directly to its inside was LUMINOUS (O Bosson) and to the inside of that runner was INITIATIVE (A Calder). Mr Coles said near the 1700 metres Mr Riddell allowed his mount to shift from its 3-wide position to a one off position. He said there was not sufficient room for the two horses to his inside. When he shifted in SECRET ALLURE was only half a length clear of LUMINOUS, and in turn that runner was only half a length clear of INITIATIVE.

Mr Coles said a result SECRET ALLURE's inward shift LUMINOUS was checked and INITIATIVE was tightened. Mr Bosson was required to take hold of his mount and although Mr Riddell took corrective action it was too late, because the damage had already been done. He said both LUMINOUS and INITIATIVE lost a little ground. He added that Mr Riddell may not have been aware INITIATIVE was racing on the inside of LUMINOUS.

In response Mr Riddell said Mr Bosson called out to him and was surprised because he was unaware Mr Calder was racing on the inside of Mr Bosson. Mr Riddell said he relieved the pressure once he received the call from Mr Bosson but by that time the two horses on his inside had already been tightened. 


Mr Riddell has admitted the breach and it is therefore proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham said Mr Riddell has had 378 rides in the past 12 months. Over that period he has incurred 10 careless riding charges which have all resulted in suspensions. The most recent on 11 November 2018 at Hastings attracted an 8 day suspension for low to mid-level careless riding. Following that suspension Mr Riddell resumed race riding about 3 ½ weeks ago. He said since resuming Mr Riddell has made a genuine effort to improve his riding.

Mr Oatham said on this occasion the inward shift from a 3-wide position by Mr Riddell was blatant and he accepted that he may have been surprised that Mr Calder was racing on the inside of Mr Bosson's mount. He said the consequences of Mr Riddell’s carelessness were not particularly high and he assessed the level of carelessness on this occasion to be low to mid-range.

Mr Oatham submitted that Mr Riddell’s recent riding record was not great and this had to be factored into the Committee's decision, coupled with the fact that the breach occurred in a Group 2 race, with a stake of $100,000.

In response Mr Riddell said he has firm race riding engagements up to and including 5 January 2019 and sought a deferment to any proposed suspension until after that date. In terms of penalty he submitted that the breach was due to a lack of judgement on his part. He freely acknowledged he is not proud of his riding record and said he has sought professional assistance in an effort to improve.

He added that any suspension would not be helpful in terms of managing his weight. 

Reasons For Penalty:

In assessing penalty the Committee has taken into account the overall circumstances of the breach itself as well as Mr Riddell’s particular circumstances. The Committee also considered penalties handed out for similar breaches in Group races and are mindful of the fact that breaches of similar culpability should, as a general rule attract broadly similar penalties.

Rule 920 (2) empowers Judicial Committees, when assessing penalty to have regard for:
(a) the status of the Race ;
(b) the stake payable in respect of the Race
(c) any consequential effects upon any person or horse as a result of the breach of the Rule;

On reviewing the video films the Committee observed that SECRET ALLURE was racing in a 3-wide position. Near the 1700 metre mark when barely half a length clear of LUMINOUS. Mr Riddell angled his mount inward causing LUMINOUS to be checked. Mr Bosson at that point had to take a firm hold of his mount and lost ground which we assess to be about one length. INITIATIVE, who was racing on the inside of LUMINOUS, was briefly tightened and it also lost some ground.

The Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees recommends suspension starting points for low, mid, and high carelessness is 6, 8, and 10 to be National riding days respectively.

We assessed Mr Riddell’s level of carelessness to be low to mid-range and on that basis adopted a 7 day suspension starting point.

As this was Group 2 race, carrying stake money of $100,000 we applied 3-day penalty uplift. We also took into consideration Mr Riddell’s appalling riding record and applied an additional 2-day uplift.

In mitigation we afforded Mr Riddell a 1 day penalty reduction for his admission of the breach. We were also mindful that any proposed suspension would inevitably encompass forthcoming premier race meetings.

After taking into account all the above factors we consider an appropriate penalty is an 11 day suspension. 


We grant Mr Riddell a deferment of suspension pursuant to Rule 1106 (2).

Accordingly, we impose a suspension on Mr Riddell which will commence after racing on 5 January 2019 and conclude after racing on 19 January 2019 (11 National days). 

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