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Auckland RC 3 April 2021 – R 6 (instigating a protest) – Chair, G Jones

Created on 06 April 2021

Rules:
642(1)
Committee:
GJones (chair)
ASmith
Respondent(s):
Mr S Ralph (Trainer of MONTANA MIST)
Informant:
Ms J Mahoney (Trainer of HEZTHEWONFORUS)
Information Number:
A14029
Horse Name:
HEZTHEWONFORUS
Persons present:
Mr J Kamaruddin (rider of HEZTHEWONFORUS)
Ms E McCall (rider of MONTANA MIST)
Mr N Harris - Northern Rider Mentor
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Evidence:

Following the running of Race Number 6, the Barfoot and Thompson 1400 metres, an Information was filed Instigating a Protest pursuant to Rule 642(1). The Informant, Ms Mahoney alleged that horse number 11 (MONTANA MIST) placed 2nd by the Judge interfered with the chances of horse number 1 (HEZTHEWONFORUS) placed 3rd by the Judge.

The interference was alleged to have occurred in the final straight.

The Judges' provisional placings were as follows:
1st - No. 6 MAI TAI
2nd - No. 11 MONTANA MIST
3rd - No. 1 HEZTHEWONFORUS
4th - No. 4 RIPPED

The official margin between 2nd and 3rd was a short neck.
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.

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 to Stewards identified the horses relevant to the protest but made no comment about the merits of the protest.

The Informant Ms Mahoney said that HEZTHEWONFORUS was running in clear racing room behind MONTANA MIST and was pushed to the left by that horse who shifted off the rail. She said that the shift outwards was approximately 3 metres and after being shifted HEZTHEWONFORUS made up a lot of ground in the run to the finish. She said that if HEZTHEWONFORUS had more room it would have easily run second.

Apprentice Rider of HEZTHEWONFORUS, Mr Kamaruddin said his horse wanted to go through (using the films he indicated the gap between MONTANA MIST and MAI TAI) but was pushed wide by MONTANA MIST.

Referring the race films the Respondent, Mr Ralph submitted that HEZTHEWONFORUS was not improving and not showing any indication it would run past MONTANA MIST at the time of the incident. He said that the incident occurred, near the 200 metres, too far from the finish to have impacted on the result. He added that MONTANA MIST was not totally at fault because as MONTANA MIST shifted out, MAI TAI shifted in at the same time.

Ms McCall submitted that MONTANA Mist was racing for the first time in blinkers and was hanging off the rail into the home straight. She said then her horse started to lay out towards MAI TAI. She said that HEZTHEWONFORUS ran in and MAI TAI also ran inwards at the same time. She added that at the time of her shifting out, HEZTHEWONFORUS was “battling at the time and not making up any ground”. She did not believe that MONTANA MIST cost HEZTHEWONFORUS second place.

Senior Stipendiary Steward, Mr M Williamson stated that the official margin was a short neck. He showed all the available race films including a back on view of the incident which was not shown earlier when the incident was shown. He said that it was clear that HEZTHEWONFORUS was inconvenienced by MONTANA MISH who shifted out under pressure just prior to the 200-metre mark. He added that just prior to the incident, prior to the 200 metres HEZTHEWONFORUS shifted in slightly. He said that MONTANA MIST did shift out half to one horse width and although there was a possibility HEZTHEWONFORUS may have beaten that horse, the Stewards submit it cannot be reasonably certain that it would have beaten MONTANA MIST.

Reasons For Decision:

In accordance with the requirements of the protest Rule the Committee must firstly establish that interference occurred; and secondly, 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 MONTANA MIST led into the straight, with HEZTHEWONFORUS slightly less than length behind and to its outer. At the same time MAI TAI was commencing to race into the lead wider on the track. Approaching the 200-metre mark MONTANA MIST shifted out one horse width and momentarily hampered HEZTHEWONFORUS who was slightly inconvenienced. After this incident Mr Kamaruddin shifted HEZTHEWONFORUS around the heels of both MONTANA MIST and MAI TAI and then finished the race of strongly to get within a short neck of MONTANA MIST at the finish.

Following the interference, we observed that over the concluding stages of the race both horses had a clear and unobstructed run to the finish line.

The Committee is satisfied that MONTANA MIST did interfere with the chances of HEZTHEWONFORUS, however having considered the degree and nature of the interference, the way both horses finished the race off and the short neck margin at the finish the Committee is of the opinion that HEZTHEWONFORUS would not have beaten MONTANA MIST. On that basis we dismiss the protest.

Decision:

Accordingly, the protest is dismissed, and the Judges placings stand.
1st - No. 6 MAI TAI
2nd - No. 11 MONTANA MIST
3rd - No. 1 HEZTHEWONFORUS
4th - No. 4 RIPPED

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

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