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Avondale JC 22 January 2020 - R 5 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 23 January 2020

ADooley (chair)
Mr D Danis - Apprentice Rider
Mr W Hillis - Trainer assisting Mr Danis
Mr R Elliot - Rider of SAVEZAR
Ms S Collett - Rider of NIZONA
Mr A Coles - Stipendiary Steward
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of race 5, an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d). The Informant, Senior Stipendiary Steward, Mr Williamson, alleged that Mr Danis allowed his mount THE GARRISON to shift in when not clear of NIZONA (S Collett) and SAVEZAR (R Elliot) which were both crowded and checked near the 1450 metres.

Rule 638(1) (d) provides: A Rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Judicial Committee considers to be careless.

Mr Danis denied the breach and acknowledged that he understood the Rule and the nature of the charge. Mr W Hillis, Trainer, assisted his Apprentice Rider, Mr Danis at the hearing.

Submission For Decision:

The salient points of the hearing are recorded.

Mr Williamson advised the Committee that he would be calling 3 witnesses namely, Mr A Coles, Stipendiary Steward, Ms S Collett, the rider of NIZONA and Mr R Elliot, the rider of SAVEZAR.

Mr Coles demonstrated the alleged incident using the available video footage. He identified that Mr Danis allowed his mount to shift inwards near the 1450 metres. He said Mr Danis was ½ a length clear of NIZONA and ½ a length back behind that runner was SAVEZAR. He said as a result of the inward shift SAVEZAR lost a good 2 lengths. He said Ms Collett took a hold of NIZONA to relieve the inward pressure to runners on her inside. Mr Coles highlighted that there was a clear gap between THE GARRISON and ALFA ROSSO (J Riddell) which was racing on its outside.

Mr Hillis and Mr Danis did not wish to cross examine Mr Coles’ submissions.

Mr Williamson called Ms Collett as a witness. She submitted that THE GARRISON was racing on her outside and Mr Danis allowed his mount to shift in when not the required distance clear. As a result she received a bit of pressure and she had to get out of a “sticky spot”. She said that she had 2 runners to her inside and was mindful of their position.

In response to a question from Mr Williamson, Ms Collett said that she had to restrain her mount because Mr Danis was only ¾ of a length in front of her.

Mr Williamson called Mr Elliot as a witness. He said that he received pressure from his outside and was checked because he had little room to manoeuvre. Mr Elliot said that he was also mindful of the runners to his inside.

Mr Hillis placed his interpretation of the incident using the video footage. He identified that Ms Collett was pulling NIZONA’s head outwards before Mr Danis shifted inwards. He noted that NIZONA was having its first start and was of the view the horse raced greenly. He believed there was sufficient room for 4 horses racing on the inside of THE GARRISON. He added that O’SUSANA which had drawn barrier drew 2 shifted out slightly which contributed to the incident.

Mr Danis said that NIZONA was green and racing ¾ of a length in his arrears. He said that his vision was obstructed and he was not aware that SAVEZAR was racing behind NIZONA.

In summing up Mr Williamson said that O’SUSANA, SAVEZAR and NIZONA were all racing free of interference until Mr Danis allowed THE GARRISON to shift in. He said Mr Danis allowed his mount to shift in 2 horse widths over a distance of 50 to 100 metres. He noted that NIZONA’s head was turned outwards because Ms Collett was trying to relieve the pressure from THE GARRISON. In conclusion he said that if THE GARRISON had stayed out wider on the track the interference may not have occurred.

In summing up Mr Hillis said that there were mitigating circumstances to consider. He said that O’SUSANA had shifted out slightly and reiterated that NIZONA was green.

When given the opportunity to sum up Mr Danis had nothing to add.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee carefully considered all of the evidence and reviewed the video footage of the alleged incident. The head on film and side on film were synchronised.

The Committee observed that THE GARRISON drew barrier 6 and shortly after the start Mr Danis allowed his mount to improve forward. In doing so Mr Danis shifted inwards in a gradual manner. However, approximately 150 metres after the start NIZONA and SAVEZAR were both crowded and checked when Mr Danis had shifted in 2 horse widths. It was clear that SAVEZAR lost several lengths when it suffered interference.

The Committee found that THE GARRISON crossed NIZONA when ¾ of a length clear of that runner which was ¾ of a length in advance of SAVEZAR. Mr Danis failed to leave sufficient room for runners on his inside when shifting in. At no stage was Mr Danis at least his own length and one other clear length in front at the time of crossing.

It was clear that ALFA ROSSO which was racing on the outside of THE GARRISON applied no inward pressure to that runner.


For the reasons detailed above the Committee found the charge against Mr Danis proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williamson produced Mr Danis’ record which showed no previous breaches under this Rule in the last 12 months. He said Mr Danis was an inexperienced Apprentice rider and the inward movement was not sharp but 2 horses were checked. He said Mr Danis’ record was excellent and the level of carelessness was mid-range. He submitted a suspension in line with that would be appropriate.

Mr Danis advised that he had firm commitments up to and including 27 January and any proposed suspension could start after that date.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented.

The Committee after reviewing the video footage, as detailed above, deemed the level of carelessness displayed by Mr Danis was low to mid-range.

The JCA Penalty Guide starting point for a low to mid-range breach is 7 national days which was adopted.

There can be no discount applied for admission of the breach however, similarly the Committee apply no uplift for the fact that the charge was defended, as that is Mr Danis’ right.

There were no aggravating factors.

The mitigating factor was Mr Danis’ unblemished record in the last 12 months. He was afforded a 1 day reduction in penalty.

After taking into account all the above factors the Committee considered that an appropriate suspension was 6 national riding days.


The Committee granted a deferment to Mr Danis’ suspension pursuant to Rule 1106(2).

Accordingly, the Committee suspended Mr Danis’ license to ride in races for the period to commence after racing on 27 January and conclude after racing on 7 February 2020.

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