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Auckland RC 3 November 2020 – R 5 – Chair, Mr G Jones

Created on 04 November 2020

GJones (chair)
Mr D Danis - Rider of LOOKSEASY
Mr N Harris - Northern Rider Mentor assisting Mr Danis
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless riding

This charge arises from the running of Race 5, the Powersafe Electrical 1200 metres, Senior Stipendiary Steward, Mr Williamson filed an Information pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d) alleging the rider of LOOKSEASY (Mr Danis), allowed his mount to shift out from the 300 metres when not sufficiently clear of PLUTON (C Ormsby) which was contacted and hampered.

Mr Danis acknowledged he understood the Rule and confirmed his admission of the breach. He was assisted at the hearing by the Northern Rider Mentor, Mr N Harris.

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

Using all available video footage Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr Oatham demonstrated the incident and identified all horses and riders concerned. He told the Committee that nearing the 300 metre LOOKSEASY was racing on the inner of PLUTON. Both horses were vying for the lead. From this point, Mr Oatham said that LOOKSEASY shifted out 5 or 6 horse widths. He said that Mr Danis made some effort to straighten his mount by shifting his whip into his hand and struck his mount 3 times. He said that Mr Danis had an obligation to stop riding his mount forward as he was shifting. PLUTON was checked and as a consequence, LOOKSEASY, who won the race was relegated from first to second place.

In response, Mr Danis said that he noticed his mount was shifting and he tried to straighten. Mr Harris confirmed this by advising Mr Danis did change his whip hand and struck his mount 3 times with the whip in his left hand.


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

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williamson produced Mr Danis’ riding record which indicated 2 previous breaches under the careless riding Rule in the last 12 months. The most recent having incurred at the Tauranga meeting on 21 March 2020 and resulted in a 6-day suspension.

Mr Williamson said Stewards assessed the level of carelessness as low range, albeit his mount was relegated from first place. He said that in assessing penalty Mr Danis ought to be given credit for his admission of the breach and “fairly good record”. He submitted a suspension consistent with a low range breach would be appropriate under the circumstances.

In response, Mr Danis advised he confirmed engagements up to 10 November 2020 and sought a 7-day deferment to any proposed suspension.

In terms of any proposed penalty Mr Danis submitted he tried hard to straighten his mount but didn’t want to lose the race.

Mr Harris advised that Mr Danis is a good apprentice rider who has a good record. He added that it is sometimes hard for jockeys in a tight finish to appreciate how far they have shifted out when under pressure. 

Reasons For Penalty:

After considering the submissions and reviewing the race film, the Committee determined Mr Danis’s carelessness to be in the low range and adopted a 6-day starting point. This is in conformity with the Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees which recommends a 6 national day starting point for low range carelessness.

The available films established that Mr Danis allowed his mount to shift out at least 5 or 6-horsewidths and in doing so dictated PLUTON wider on the track. Further, PLUTON was hampered and bumped several times in the run to the finish line. The mitigating factors we considered included Mr Danis’s admission of the breach and his good riding record under this rule. For those combined factors we afforded him a 1-day reduction from the 6-day starting point.

We assessed the relegation of LOOKSEASY from first to second place as an aggravating factor and applied a 1-day uplift.
After taking into account all the above factors the Committee considered that an appropriate suspension was 6 (national) days.


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

Accordingly, Mr Danis’ licence to ride in races is suspended for a period of 6 days commencing after racing on 10 November at Te Aroha and concluding after racing at Ascot Park on 18 November 2020.

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