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Auckland RC 20 February 2021 - R 3 (instigating a protest) - Chair, Mr G Jones

Created on 22 February 2021

Rules:
642(1)
Committee:
GJones (chair)
RMcKenzie
Respondent(s):
Mr C Grylls - Rider of I'M BUZZ
Informant:
Mr A Calder - Rider of NO FILTER
Information Number:
A14022
Horse Name:
I'M BUZZ
Persons present:
Mr R Collett - Trainer of NO FILTER
Mr A Calder - Rider of NO FILTER
Mr J Price - Trainer of I'M BUZZ
Mr C Grylls - Rider of I'M BUZZ
Mr B Jones - Stipendiary Steward
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 3, the Ecochill 1500 metres, an Information was filed Instigating a Protest pursuant to Rule 642(1). The Informant Mr A Calder alleged that horse number 3 (I’M BUZZ) placed 1st (DH) by the Judge interfered with the chances of horse number 4 (NO FILTER) placed 1st (DH) by the Judge.

The interference was alleged to have occurred near the 800 metres.

The Judge's provisional placings were as follows:

1st =   No. 3 I’M BUZZ
1st =   No. 4 NO FILTER
3rd      No. 1 MOUTON
4th      No. 2 TIME TO FLY

The first two horses dead heated for first place.

Rule 642(1) provides:

If a placed horse or its rider causes interference within the meaning of this rule 642 to another placed horse, and the Judicial Committee is of the opinion that the horse so interfered with would have finished ahead of the first mentioned horse had such interference not occurred, they may place the first mentioned horse immediately after the horse interfered with”.

For the purposes of Rule 642 “interference” is defined as:

(i) a horse crossing another horse without being at least its own length and one other clear length in front of such other horse at the time of crossing.

(ii) a horse jostling with another horse, unless it is proved that such jostling was caused by the fault of some other horse or Rider or that the horse or Rider jostled with was partly at fault; or

(iii) a horse itself, or its Rider, in any way interfering with another horse or the Rider of another horse in a Race, unless it is proved that such interference was caused by the fault of some other horse or Rider or that the horse or Rider interfered with was partly at fault.

At the commencement of the hearing the essence of the ‘Protest Rule’ - Rule 642(1) was explained to all parties as well as the necessary standard of proof.

Submissions For Decision:

Prior to hearing submissions from the respective parties, the Committee requested that Stewards show available video footage of the alleged interference. In doing so Stewards made no comments about the merits of the protest.

Mr Calder submitted that his mount jumped and settled in 4th or 5th place and up to just passing the 800-metre mark he received pressure from I’M BUZZ ridden by Mr G Grylls on two occasions. He said that during the first incident his mount was checked and hampered for about 10 strides. On the second occasion he received pressure from his outside causing a loss of momentum. He added that Mr Grylls gained an advantage because he was able to place his mount in a better position. In conclusion he submitted the incident as a whole cost him at least 2 lengths and given the margin, he believed would have won the race outright.

Mr Collett had nothing further to add.

Mr Grylls submitted that his mount and NO FILTER jumped from the barrier and rounded the first bend together. He said that he was sitting in a 3 wide position and it was NO FILTER who contacted his mount. He said that this turned I’M BUZZ inward. He added that DRAGON RUN (V Colgan) also put pressure on his mount which contributed to the interference suffered by NO FILTER.

Mr Price concurred with Mr Grylls' assessment of the incident. He said that the interference first occurred on the inside and that NO FILTER subsequently had every opportunity to beat I’M BUZZ.

Chief Senior Stipendiary Steward Mr Oatham stated that interference occurred between the 1000 and 800 metres, and the incident that gave rise to the interference was complicated. He submitted that DRAGON RUN jumped from an outside barrier into a two-wide position and then eased. As a result, Mr Calder had to take a hold and steady his mount to avoid that runner. He said that for some distance NO FILTER continued to race in restricted room and there was some further contact with I’M BUZZ, but he added that Mr Grylls was merely holding his position, as he was entitled to do. In turn I’M BUZZ received some pressure from TIME TO FLY (W Pinn).

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee carefully considered all of the submissions presented and reviewed the available video footage.

In accordance with the requirements of the Protest Rule the Committee must firstly establish that interference occurred; and second, if interference is established, the horse interfered with would have beaten the other runner, had such interference not occurred.

After hearing submissions and reviewing the video footage the Committee established that between the 1000 and 800 metres NO FILTER received interference after being placed in restricted racing room. It was evident the Mr Calder had to take a strong hold of his mount and as a result lost ground. The interference suffered by NO FILTER could not be solely attributed to the actions of I’M BUZZ or its rider Mr Grylls. There were contributing factors including DRAGON RUN who eased and to a lesser degree there was some pressure applied by TIME TO FLY. 

Following the interference, we observed that over the concluding 800 metres of the race both horses had a reasonably clear run to the finish line. Over the concluding stages they fought out a close finish resulting in a dead heat.

In conclusion having considered the various contributing factors, the degree of the interference and the way both horses finished the race off and the margin at the finish the Committee cannot be comfortably satisfied that NO FILTER would have beaten I’M BUZZ outright. On that basis we dismiss the protest.

Decision:

Accordingly, the protest is dismissed, and the Judge's placings stand.
1st = No. 3 I’M BUZZ
1st = No. 4 NO FILTER
3rd    No. 1 MOUTON
4th    No. 2 TIME TO FLY

The Committee authorised the payment of dividends and stake money in accordance with our decision.

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