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Auckland RC 23 January 2021 - R 5 – Chair, Mr G Jones

Created on 25 January 2021

GJones (chair)
Mr S Weatherley- Rider of PRETTY TO SEA
Mr A Coles - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless riding

This charge arises from the running of Race 5, the Brighthill Farm Concorde Handicap (Group 3 - $70,000). Senior Stipendiary Steward, Mr Williamson filed an Information pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d) alleging the Rider of PRETTY TO SEA (S Weatherley) “permitted his mount to shift in when not sufficiently clear of PACKING ROCKSTAR which was hampered and steadied approaching the 100 metres”.

Mr Weatherley acknowledged he understood the Rule and confirmed his admission of the breach.

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

Using available video footage Stipendiary Steward, Mr Coles demonstrated the incident and identified all horses and riders relevant to the breach, namely PRETTY TO SEA (S Weatherley), PACKING ROCKSTAR (S McKay), ENTRIVIERE (D Johnson) and ITS DESTINYS CHILD (S Spratt). He told the Committee that in the run up the straight near the 100 metres, PRETTY TO SEA was racing behind the leader ENTRIVIERE. He said that PRETTY TO SEA was about to take a run on the outer of ENTRIVIERE, but that runner shifted out slightly, which in turn caused Mr Weatherley to move out 1 or 2 horse widths. In doing so PRETTY TO SEA crowded PACKING ROCKSTAR who was hampered and had to be steadied. He pointed out using the head-on film it was quite noticeable that Mr McKay had to turn PACKING ROCKSTAR'S head outwards quite abruptly. Mr Coles added that a contributing factor to the interference suffered by PACKING ROCKSTAR was that ITS DESTINYS CHILD, who was racing on the outer shifted in.

In response, Mr Weatherley said that he was attempting to come off the back of ENTRIVIERE, who at the same time shifted out. He said that this caused him to move out slightly to avoid that horse’s heels. He added that as soon as it was safe to do so he took corrective action and straightened his mount. He concluded his evidence by pointing out that the incident looked much worse than it was due to Mr McKay having to take hold of his mount and turning its head outwards. 


As Mr Weatherley admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williamson produced Mr Weatherley’s riding record which indicated one previous breach under the careless riding Rule in the last 12 months. The most recent having occurred on 7 March 2020 and this resulted in a 5-day suspension, plus a $750 fine.

Mr Williamson said Stewards assessed the level of carelessness to be in the low range. He said there were a number of contributing factors including the slight outward movement of ENTRIVIERE and the inward shift of ITS DESTINYS CHILD.

Mr Williamson also advised that this breach occurred in a Group 3 race and this should be factored in to any proposed penalty.

In response Mr Weatherley sought a deferment to any proposed suspension until after racing on 31 January 2021. He said that the breach was low end and there were contributing factors. 

Reasons For Penalty:

After considering the submissions and reviewing the race film and the Committee determined Mr Weatherley’s carelessness to be low-range and adopted a 4-day (suspension) and $250 (fine) as our starting point. This conforms with the NZTR Penalty Directive which recommends a 4 national day and $250 fine starting point for low range carelessness.

The available films confirmed that there were a number of contributing factors in Mr Weatherley’s favour. Although ENTRIVIERE, did shift out slightly it was clear of PRETTY TO SEA.   We agree that the check to PACKING ROCKSTAR was made to look worse due to the combined inward shift of ITS DESTINY CHILD and Mr McKay having to take an abrupt hold of his mount.

An aggravating factor is that this breach occurred in a Group 3 race with stakemoney of $70,000.

Rule 920(2) empowers a Committee in imposing a penalty to have due regard to such matters as it considers appropriate including: (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; and/or (d) the need to maintain integrity and public confidence in racing.

In terms of the Status of the Race, this being a Group 3, we applied a 1 day (suspension) and $150 (fine) uplift to the starting point.

The mitigating factors we considered included Mr Weatherley’s admission of the breach and his very good record.  For those combined reasons we afforded him a 1-day reduction.

After taking into account all the above factors the Committee considered that an appropriate suspension was 4 (national) days and a fine of $400.


The Committee granted Mr Weatherley a deferment to his suspension pursuant to Rule 1106(2).

Accordingly, Mr Weatherley’s Licence to ride in races is suspended for a period of 4 days commencing after racing on 31 January 2021 and concluding after racing on 10 February 2021. In addition, we impose a $400 fine.

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