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Auckland RC 9 March 2019 - R 6 - (request for a ruling) Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 11 March 2019

ADooley (chair)
Stipendiary Steward(s):
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Mr T Yanagida - Apprentice Rider of STRATOCASTER, Mr N Harris - Apprentice Jockey Mentor, Mrs E Browne - Co Trainer of STRATOCASTER
Information Number:

Following the running of Race 6, Laser Te Puke 1200, Mr J Oatham, lodged an Information requesting a ruling in relation to Rule 632 to establish whether STRATOCASTER received a fair start.

Rule 632 provides “If, in the opinion of the Judicial Committee, a horse which does not finish in the first three placing’s was prevented from taking an effective part in a race owing to the mechanical failure of starting stalls, or is denied a fair start and such occurrence materially prejudiced the chances of that horse (but not where the horse is slow away of its own accord), the Judicial Committee may declare such horse to be a non-starter.”

Submission For Decision:

Mr Oatham said that this incident was a little bit unusual. He identified that STRATOCASTER was drawn in barrier 10 and the horse was a little bit fractious in the gates. He said that STRATOCASTER kicked out just prior to the barriers opening getting a leg caught in the back gate of the barriers. As a result STRATOCASTER was very slow to begin.

Mr Oatham said under the circumstances the Stewards believed that STRATOCASTER’s connections and the betting public should be given the benefit of doubt. He added that the horse lost considerable ground and all effective chance in the race.

Mr Yanagida said that the Starter was concentrating on MARZEMINO being loaded into the gates when STRATOCASTER began to play up prior to the start. He said his horse was denied a fair start when it got its back leg caught in the back gate of the barriers.

At the request of the Committee, Mrs Browne the Co - Trainer of STRATOCASTER, was called to be present at the hearing. She said that following the race her horse had skin off its back legs which would require veterinary treatment. After viewing the video footage Mrs Browne said that her horse was definitely hindered at the start and the lower part of its back leg was caught up in the rear of the starting stalls.

The Committee note that Mr Oatham had questioned the Starter prior to filing the Information.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee carefully considered the submissions presented and reviewed the video footage.

The Committee was satisfied the video films showed that STRATOCASTER had lashed out with its hind legs prior to the start being made. As a consequence one of its hind legs became caught up in the back of the starting stalls. When the start was made STRATOCASTER was unable to begin on terms with the remainder of the field and eventually came out of its stall approximately 10 lengths in arrears of the field. In terms of Rule 632 the Committee was satisfied that STRATOCASTER was denied a fair start.


Accordingly, the Committee exercised its discretion in favour of declaring STRATOCASTER to be a non-starter.

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