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Auckland RC 5 March 2016 - R 1 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 07 March 2016

Rules:
638(1)(d)
Committee:
ADooley (chair)
RSeabrook
Name(s):
Ms A Collett - Rider of RIDING SHOTGUN
Mr C Lammas - Rider of ZORRALI
Mr M Du Plessis - Rider of PLATINUM BALOS
Mr L Molloy - Owner of RIDING SHOTGUN
Mr A Coles - Stipendiary Steward
Informant
Mr J Oatham - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A6940
Plea:
Denied
Charge:
Careless Riding
Evidence:

Following the running of race 1, Super Fence 1400, an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d). The Informant, Mr Oatham, alleged that Ms A Collett allowed her mount RIDING SHOTGUN to shift in forcing PLATINUM BALOS (M Du Plessis) into ZORRALI (C Lammas) which had to be checked passing the 1300 metres.

Ms Collett acknowledged that she understood the Rule and confirmed that she 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:

Mr Oatham told the Committee he would be calling 3 witnesses namely Stipendiary Steward Mr Coles, and riders Mr Du Plessis and Mr Lammas. He also advised the Committee that Mr Molloy would be Ms Collett’s witness.

The following are the salient points of the lengthy hearing.

Mr Coles demonstrated the incident by using all the available video films. He pointed out that shortly after the start Ms Collett angled her mount in putting pressure onto Mr Du Plessis' mount on her inside. He said in doing so this caused Mr Du Plessis to also move inwards taking the rightful line of Mr Lammas who was racing adjacent to the running rail. He noted this caused Mr Lammas to take a strong hold of his mount causing it lose momentum. He identified that when Ms Collett allowed her mount to shift in she was only a neck in front of Mr Du Plessis who in turn was a ¾ of a length ahead of Mr Lammas.

Ms Collett questioned Mr Coles as to whether he thought her mount was over racing. He replied by saying that there was no sign of it over racing at the point of interference.

Mr Lammas was then called as a witness. He confirmed that he jumped from barrier 1 and he received pressure from his outside shortly after the start. He said that Mr Du Plessis was ¾ of a length in front him when he received the inward pressure. He stated that things had got very tight and he had to grab a hold of his mount and check when he ran out of racing room.

Mr Du Plessis was then called as the next witness. He said that he was racing in between the 2 horses concerned when he received pressure from Ms Collett on his outside when she wanted to move inwards. He added that he was the “meat in the sandwich” and identified at that point he was racing on Ms Collett’s horses shoulder.

Ms Collett stated that in her opinion it was not careless riding and she did all she could to relieve the pressure. She believed the incident occurred due to the pattern of racing and the racing manners of her mount. She told the Committee that her mount was hanging in all the way, her mount was having its first start in pacifiers and no rider had called out to her.

Mr Molloy was then called by Ms Collett to give evidence regarding the history of RIDING SHOTGUN. Mr Molloy is the managing owner of the horse and he had previously been the Trainer of RIDING SHOTGUN. He said the horse had a history of knee problems and was not an easy horse to ride. He said Mr Lammas was always going to take a hold a hold of his mount which made the incident look worse that it was. He added that Mr Du Plessis was also having issues with his mount which appeared to be moving around and advised the Committee that RIDING SHOTGUN had a habit of throwing its head up. He concluded by saying the incident was at the lower end of the scale.

Mr Oatham in summing up stated that it was clear that Ms Collett allowed her mount to move in when not sufficiently clear. He said there was no evidence that RIDING SHOTGUN was racing in an unruly manner and there was no evidence that Ms Collett had made an attempt to correct her mount when it was shifting in. He said there was clearly not enough room for Mr Lammas on the rails which required him to check his mount. He added that the witnesses’ evidence was supported by the video footage.

Ms Collett in summing up reiterated that she tried to relieve the pressure on the horses on her inside and was of the view it was not careless riding.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions as presented. Having reviewed the video films several times we established that Ms Collett allowed her mount to shift in 100 metres after the start when not the required distance clear of PLATINUM BALOS. This resulted in that runner being forced inwards into the rightful running line of Mr Lammas’ mount which was checked when it ran out of racing room.

The video footage does not support Ms Collett’s interpretation of the incident.

The evidence presented by Mr Oatham, Mr Coles and Mr Lammas and Mr Du Plessis was compelling and supported by the video footage.

Decision:

For the reasons detailed above we find the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham produced Ms Collett’s record which showed 3 previous breach under this Rule in the last 12 months. He described the level of carelessness as low to mid – range but noted there was slight mitigating factors given the racing manners of the horses involved. However, he said Ms Collett failed to relieve the pressure to the horses on her inside. He added that the incident occurred on an Iconic race day in a race worth $50,000.

Ms Collett requested a deferment to her proposed suspension because she had engagements up to and including 12 March. She told the Committee that she rode at every meeting in New Zealand.

The Committee asked Mr Oatham to produce Ms Collett’s recent riding history. Mr Oatham informed us Ms Collett’s recent record showed that she had only ridden in the South Island on the 6th of February (Premier race day) in the last 3 months.

Ms Collett when tested by the Committee acknowledged that her recent riding history record produced by the Stewards was correct. Ms Collett then accepted that her proposed penalty would not include any South Island meetings.

Ms Collett also added that she had an engagement to ride MEGAWATT in the NZ Oaks on 19 March and sought a penalty for a suspension / fine combination which may allow her to ride in the Group 1 race.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented. We have adopted 5 riding days as the starting point in considering the term of suspension for this careless riding charge. The mitigating factors were Ms Collett's good record and we assess the level of carelessness as low end because she shifted in one horse width. However, this has to be balanced against the consequences when Ms Collett failed to make sufficient effort to prevent her mount from shifting in which resulted in 2 horse being checked. We did take into account the racing manners of the horses involved and we did not penalise Ms Collett for the incident occurring in a $50,000 race on an Iconic race day.

The Committee was not satisfied that Ms Collett has a recent history of riding all over the country.

After taking into account all the above factors we consider a 4 day suspension would be appropriate. However, we were satisfied that given that the last day of Ms Collett’s proposed suspension is a Premier Group 1 race day the Committee has approved her request for a combination of a fine and suspension. This approach was consistent with other recent penalties where the same circumstances have occurred with other riders.

Penalty:

We grant Ms Collett’s request to seek a deferment to her suspension as per Rule 1106(2).

Accordingly, Ms Collett had her license to ride in races suspended for a period to commence after racing on 12 March and conclude after racing on 17 March 2016 (3 North Island days). In addition we impose a $1,000 fine.

This encompasses 14 March Hawera, 16 March Matamata and 17 March Te Aroha.

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