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Canterbury JC 12 September 2020 - R 4 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 14 September 2020

RMcKenzie (chair)
J D Laking
Licensed Jockey (Class A)
M R Davidson
Stipendiary Steward
J P Oatham
Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of Race 4, NZB Ready to Run Sale Trainers Series 1400 (Rating 65), an information was filed by Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr J P Oatham, against Licensed Jockey (Class A), Mr J D Laking, alleging that Mr Laking, as the rider of MARKUS AURELIUS in the race, “allowed his mount to shift out buffeting and unbalancing MADAM SEQUOIA (T R Moseley) near the 400 metres”.

Mr Laking had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the information form indicating that he admitted the breach and he confirmed this at the hearing at which he was present.

Rule 638 provides as follows:

(1) A rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Judicial Committee considers to be:

     (d) careless

Mr Oatham had Stipendiary Steward, Mr M R Davidson, show head-on, rear-on and side-on video replays of the final 400 metres of the race.

Mr Davidson pointed out on the video replays MARKUS AURELIUS, ridden by Mr Laking, racing towards the rear of the field and improving wide on the track, with MADAM SEQUOIA, ridden by Mr Moseley, on his outside. He showed Mr Laking attempting to shift Mr Moseley and then gave him a second and a third “shift”. The carelessness was in that Mr Laking had attempted to shift Mr Moseley, bumped him on three occasions and shifted him “well off his line”. The contact with Mr Moseley’s mount could be clearly seen, Mr Davidson submitted.

Mr Laking said that Mr Moseley’s mount had not been travelling that well. He, Mr Laking, had got on the heels of TAPONISME (D R Bothamley) and, instead of pulling back, he had pulled off to the right. Mr Mosley’s mount had started “going better” when he received the first bump. He accepted that he had inconvenienced Mr Moseley and had come out quicker than he should have. The videos were self-explanatory, Mr Laking said. 


Mr Laking having admitted the breach, the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham told the Committee that Mr Laking has a very good record with no breaches of the careless riding rule in the last 12 months.

He submitted that it was his understanding that the penalties for careless riding under the Penalty Guide had been adjusted until the end of September because of the COVID-19 situation and its effect on jockeys’ opportunities.

It was the submission of Stewards, Mr Oatham said, that a 4-days suspension would be appropriate on this occasion. This would be consistent with other recent penalties for similar breaches, Mr Oatham said. Stewards saw the carelessness as being in the low-mid range.

Mr Laking sought a deferment of suspension until after the meeting of Ashburton RC on 18 September.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee accepted Mr Oatham’s assessment of the degree of carelessness as being in the low-mid range. That would normally attract a starting point of a 7 national riding days suspension. Mr Oatham has submitted that, in view of the interruption to racing caused by the COVID-19 lockdown and the limited opportunities for jockeys going forward, a 4 national riding days suspension would be appropriate.

The Committee accepts the matters put forward by Mr Oatham and also takes into account Mr Laking’s very good record and his admission of the breach. It is important that penalties be consistent at this time. The Committee believes that this penalty is consistent.


Mr Laking’s application for a deferment of suspension is granted.

Mr Laking’s Jockey’s Licence (Class A) is suspended for a period commencing after the close of racing on 18 September 2020 up to and including 25 September 2020 - 4 national riding days.

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