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09 Oct 2020
Auckland-Tc - R2

Auckland TC 9 October 2020 – R2 (instigating a protest) – Chair, Mr G Jones

Created on 12 October 2020

Rules:
Committee:
GJones (chair)
ASmith
Respondent(s):
Mr J Abernethy – Trainer and driver of ADIEU FLIRT
Informant:
Mr S Mulcay - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number:
A12966
Horse Name:
ADIEU FLIRT
Persons present:
Mr J Muirhead – Senior Stipendiary Stewart
Mr S Reid – Trainer and Driver SHES NO LADY
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 2 the Vincent At Alabar Pace 2200 Mobile Pace, an Information was filed by Senior Stipendiary Steward, Mr Mulcay instigating a protest. The Information alleged that ADIEU FLIRT (J Abernethy) placed 3rd, shifted inwards in the run home and interfered with the progress of SHES NO LADY (S Reid) placed 5th.

Rule 869A (1) provides - For the purpose of this rule:
(a) “placed horse” means a horse placed by the Judge 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th;
(b) “interference” means any conduct referred to in rule 869 which interferes or is likely to interfere with the progress of any horse in a race.
(2) When a placed horse or its driver causes interference to another placed horse and the Judicial Committee is satisfied that the horse interfered with would have finished ahead of the horse that, or whose driver, caused the interference the Judicial Committee must, in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed, place the horse that, or whose driver, caused the interference immediately after the horse interfered with.

At the commencement of the hearing the Committee ensured that the connections of the horses involved in the protest were aware of the key elements of the protest Rule. The Committee advised all participants the proposed procedure for the conduct of the hearing.

The Judges provisional placings were: -
1st - No 8 DOC HOLLIDAY
2nd - No 2 DOWN THE HATCH
3rd - No 4 ADIEU FLIRT
4th - No 7 UNDERTHESOUTHERNSUN
5th - No 10 SHES NO LADY
The official margin between 3rd and 5th was ¾ L and a head.

Submissions For Decision:

Mr Mulcay used available films to demonstrate the final 400 metres of the race. He identified that SHES NO LADY was racing four back into the home straight behind DOUBLE UP (B Mangos) and ADIEU FLIRT was trailing that runner. Mr Mulcay said that Mr Reid quickly established SHES NO LADY into the passing lane and at that point was entitled to do so. He said that in the run up the straight Mr Abernethy allowed ADIEU FLIRT to shift in. As a result, SHES NO LADY was tightened and its chances were interfered with. As a result, over the concluding stages he said SHES NO LADY was forced over the marker pegs.

Mr Reid said that SHES NO LADY raced four back into the home straight. He said he shifted into the passing lane and initially there was a run, but it got tighter closer to the finish line. He said that he did not feel pressure to his outside and felt that the nature of the passing lane contributed to his drive being tightened. Mr Reid believed that the inference may have cost him ½ length.

Mr Abernethy said that as he entered the home straight his horse was shifting outwards and he turned his horses head in, so that he could get into the passing lane. He said that he could not ease back once he had attempted to shift into the passing lane and had no other option. 

In summing up Mr Mulcay submitted that the margin of ¾ L and a head needed to be carefully considered in determining whether or not to relegate.

In summing up Mr Reid submitted that although his drive was gradually taking ground off ADIEU FLIRT, he was not confident he would have beaten that runner.

Mr Abernethy submitted that he thought he was entitled to take the passing lane, but was slow to enter into it.

Reasons For Decision:

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

In accordance with the requirements of the protest the Rule the Committee must firstly must establish that interference occurred; and second, if interference is established, the horse interfered with would have beaten the other runner, had such interference not occurred.

The Committee established that at the 100-metre mark Mr Reid had established SHES NO LADY into the passing lane and was ¾ length behind ADIEU FLIRT. SHES NO LADY had a relatively uninterrupted run to the 25-metre mark and at that point was tightened and placed in to restricted racing room; and was ½ length behind ADIEU FLIRT. SHES NO LADY went inside one marker and at the winning post was ¾ L and a head behind ADIEU FLIRT.

The Committee is satisfied ADIEU FLIRT did interfere with the chances of SHES NO FLIRT. However, having considered the degree and nature of the interference, the manner in which both horses finished the race off and the margin at the finish the Committee is of the opinion that SHES NO LADY would not have beaten ADIEU FLIRT. On that basis we dismiss the protest.

Decision:

The protest is dismissed and in accordance with this decision authority is given for the payment of dividends and stakes.

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