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Auckland RC 25 January 2020 - R 6 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 27 January 2020

ADooley (chair)
Mr L Innes - Class A Rider
Mr C Grylls - Rider of OUR CREED
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of Race 6, the Karaka Million 3 YO Classic (Restricted Listed Race) an Information was filed by Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr Oatham. He alleged that Senior Rider, Mr Innes permitted his mount TIBETAN to shift out near the 350 metres when not sufficiently clear of OUR CREED which was checked.

Mr Innes acknowledged he understood the Rule and confirmed that he denied 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.

Submission For Decision:

The salient points of the hearing are recorded.

Senior Stipendiary Steward Mr Williamson used the head-on, two side-on and rear-on video films to support his oral evidence. The films were shown several times from the various angles to demonstrate the alleged breach. Mr Williamson stated that near the 350-metre mark OUR CREED (G Grylls) was checked by TIBETAN (L Innes) when that horse shifted out. He said that Mr Innes was attempting to find a run to the outside of MASCARPONE and inside of OUR CREED, but there was no run available. He said that as a result OUR CREED was checked. Mr Williamson said that at the same time there was crowding to the runners on the outside of OUR CREED, which contributed to the interference.

For the record the horses racing directly to OUR CREED’s outside were STATELINE, CONQUEROR and HASSTOBEGOOD. Mr Williamson added that the head on film “was not perfect” but it was sufficient to demonstrate the incident. He concluded his evidence by pointing out that one of the outside runners, namely STATELINE (S Weatherley) did shift in, but did not do so until after the interference caused by Mr Innes.

Under cross examination Mr Innes suggested to Mr Williamson that OUR CREED suffered interference due to pressure being applied from horses to its outside. Mr Williamson maintained the Stewards' view that the initial pressure was from the inside of OUR CREED.

Mr Grylls was called as a witness by Mr Oatham and gave evidence. He confirmed that he was the rider of OUR CREED and that he suffered some interference at the 350-metre mark. It was his evidence that his mount was tiring and the interference was the result of pressure from horses on both his outer and inner. He was adamant that the pressure came from both sides, at the same time. Mr Oatham put it to Mr Grylls that during his post-race interview he said that the initial pressure came firstly from the horse to his inside, namely TIBETAN.

Under cross examination from Mr Innes, Mr Grylls conceded that the pressure was from his outside.

In his evidence Mr Innes stated that the films clearly show that the interference arose due to pressure being applied from the outside horses. He said that he was entitled to take the run to the inside of OUR CREED. Mr Innes also identified that MASCARPONE shifted out slightly when he presented to take the gap. He concluded his evidence by reinforcing the fact that the check to Mr Grylls' mount was not his fault. He reiterated it was due to pressure being applied from the runners on his outside.

In summing up the case for the Informant Mr Oatham said that it was the Stewards' view that the films clearly show that OUR CREED was racing on the outside of TIBETAN and when Mr Innes shifted outward, he was no more than a neck in front of OUR CREED. He submitted there was no gap or run available for Mr Innes and he was not entitled to shift ground.

In summing up the case for the Respondent, Mr Innes reiterated the only reason OUR CREED was checked was because of pressure being applied by runners on its outside. He said he was entitled to take the run which was presented to him.

Reasons For Decision:

After carefully considering the oral evidence and analysing the race films the Committee was not comfortably satisfied that Mr Innes’ actions were solely the cause of interference to OUR CREED. It was the view of the Committee that a key contributor to the interference was the pressure which was being applied to OUR CREED from 3 runners to its outside. On that basis, and for the reasons outlined below, we do not believe the charge had been proven to the requisite standard.

In reaching our decision the Committee was mindful that the standard of proof to be established is on the balance of probabilities. Simply put we asked ourselves was it more probable than not, Mr Innes permitted his mount to shift out and check OUR CREED as was outlined in the charge.

Our interpretation of the race films was that Mr Innes commenced to angle out off the heels of MASCARPONE near the 350 metres. At that point OUR CREED was racing free of interference, albeit it was starting to weaken slightly. Also, at that point there was a lot of activity going on from horses racing to the outside of OUR CREED. From the outside in, we found that HASSTOBEGOOD (V Colgan) shifted in on to CONQUEROR (J McDonald). CONQUEROR shifted in on to STATELINE (S Weatherley) and all 3 runners were tightened and buffeting occurred between those runners. The back on film was compelling with Mr Weatherley leaning sideways in saddle from the inward pressure he was receiving from the runners on his outside. As a result of the inward shift OUR CREED was hampered. At the same time, we found that Mr Innes was still in the process of angling out and establishing his run between MASCARPONE and OUR CREED.

We found the back on films particularly useful in that it demonstrated the pressure being applied to OUR CREED. This was confirmed by Mr Grylls in his evidence, albeit he told Stewards during the post-race investigation that the initial pressure on his horse came from the inside; and he conceded under cross examination that the pressure came from the outside.

Also, there was some evidence, based on the films and presented by Mr Innes that MASCARPONE did shift out very slightly. Although we don’t place a lot of weight on this, it is a factor.

There is no doubt that OUR CREED did suffer interference and was checked. Although Mr Innes may have contributed in a minor way, we believe that the interference was primarily the result of pressure being applied from horses racing on its outer.

Taking into account all of the circumstances and contributing factors, in particular the inward movement by the 3 runners on the outside of OUR CREED that was clearly evidenced on the back on films the Committee found that although TIBETAN did shift, it was not satisfied that Mr Innes was solely responsible for what had occurred.

Therefore, the Committee was of the opinion that Mr Innes did not breach Rule 638(1)(d).


The charge of careless riding against Mr Innes was dismissed by the Committee.

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