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Auckland TC 9 October 2020 – R1 – Chair, Mr G Jones

Created on 12 October 2020

Rules:
869(3)(b)
Committee:
GJones (chair)
ASmith
Name(s):
Mr J Wallace - Open Driver of ANASTASIA ASHLEY
Informant
Mr S Mulcay - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A12968
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Causing Interference by striking a wheel
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 1, the Peak At Alabar Trot 2200m, an Information was filed by Senior Stipendiary, Steward Mr Mulcay alleging Open Driver, Mr J Wallace, breached Rule 869(3)(b) when he contacted the wheel of the sulky of MAJESTIC HANOVER causing his own his drive ANASTASIA ASHLEY to gallop with approximately 550 metres to run.

Mr Wallace endorsed the Information ‘I do admit the breach of the Rule’. At the commencement of the hearing he confirmed his plea and that he understood the Rule and the nature of the Charge.

Rule 869 (3)(b) provides:
No horseman in any race shall drive carelessly.

Using available video footage Mr Mulcay identified the horses involved in the incident namely, ANASTASIA ASHLEY (J Wallace) and MAJESTIC HANOVER (P Ferguson). He said that ANASTASIA ASHLEY was in 3rd to last position trailing MAJESTIC HANOVER. Mr Mulcay said that approaching the 550-metre mark down the back straight Mr Wallace activated his horses gear (hood). In doing so ANASTASIA ASHLEY reacted and struck the sulky wheel of MAJESTIC HANOVER resulting in a punctured tyre. As a consequence, ANASTASIA ASHLEY broke, galloped and lost all chance. He said that despite the punctured tyre MAJESTIC HANOVER went on and won the race.

In response Mr Wallace told the Committee that he urged his drive to improve as it was not responding well and at that point, he decided to pull the hood. He said that ANASTASIA ASHLEY responded better than he expected and ran up into the back of MAJESTC HANOVER’S rear wheel. He believed that Mr Ferguson was allowing his drive to half-cart at the time and this may have been a contributing factor.

Decision:

Pursuant to Rule 1111(1)(d) as Mr Wallace admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved. 

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Mulcay submitted that Mr Wallace has an excellent record and he should be given credit for admitting the breach at the first opportunity. He added that the breach is low end and the affected horse, MAJESTIC HANOVER continued with a punctured tyre and won the race. An aggravating factor, he said was that ANASTASIA ASHLEY had its chances extinguished as a direct result of the incident. Mr Mulcay submitted that in the circumstances a moderate fine would be an appropriate penalty.

Mr Wallace advised that he has recently returned to New Zealand having spent the past 2 years in Australia. He said that since his return he has had two drives per meeting and is trying to re-establish himself as a driver in New Zealand. For this reason, he submitted that he would prefer a fine as opposed to a suspension.

Reasons For Penalty:

The JCA Penalty Guide provides a starting point of a 6-drive suspension or a $300 fine for a breach of this Rule. The Committee has noted that similar recent breaches have incurred penalties ranging from fines between $150 to $450 and limited number of 2 to 3-day suspensions.

After taking into account the submissions of both the Informant and Respondent and noting the race film and that the resultant impact on the affected runner, Majestic HANOVER was minimal and it won the race, the level of carelessness was assessed to be low end.

The Committee noted that Mr Wallace has had a total of 93 drives in New Zealand and has not driven a full season since 2017.
After affording Mr Wallace credit for his good record and his admission of the breach the Committee determined that a $200 fine is an appropriate penalty in the circumstances of this case.

Penalty:

Accordingly, Mr Wallace was fined the sum of $200.

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