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Riccarton Park - Amberley - 25 July 2020 - R 1 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 27 July 2020

RMcKenzie (chair)
B B Hong
Licensed Apprentice Jockey (Class B)
D M Walsh
Apprentice Jockey Mentor
Mr N McIntyre - General Manager of Stewards
J P Oatham
Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of Race 1, Taggart Earthmoving Maiden, an information was filed by Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr J P Oatham, against Licensed Apprentice Jockey (Class B), Mr B B Hong, alleging that Mr Hong, as the rider of WENDY DARLING in the race, “permitted his mount to shift inwards when not clear of REPULSE (R Mudhoo)which was taken inwards onto MORE THAN ENOUGH (C A Campbell) which was checked. BROTHER BILL (S Toolooa) was also checked at this stage shortly after the start”.

Mr Hong 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. He was assisted at the hearing by Apprentice Jockey Mentor, Mr D M Walsh.

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 General Manager of Stewards, Mr N G McIntyre, show head-on and side-on video replays of the first 200 metres of the race, a 1400 metres race for maidens.

Mr McIntyre pointed out on the head-on replay, Mr Hong riding WENDY DARLING, which had drawn barrier 10 at the 1400 metres starting point. REPULSE had drawn barrier 9 and MORE THAN ENOUGH, inside that runner, in barrier 7. Mr McIntyre said that, shortly after the start, Mr Hong had angled his runner across runners towards the rail and, in doing so, was not clear of REPULSE, causing “buffeting and crowding” to that runner and to MORE THAN ENOUGH on its inside. When Mr Mudhoo attempted to relieve the pressure after suffering interference, he shifted his mount outwards causing the following runner, BROTHER BILL, to clip its heels.

Mr Hong was no more than his own length clear of REPULSE when it crossed that runner, Mr McIntyre submitted.

Mr Hong said that his mount had been hanging in the preliminary and he realised that it was “pretty green” (the Committee noted that the horse was having its first start). He had been trying to get cover, he said. He accepted that the incident was entirely his fault.

Mr Walsh said that the race was one for maidens, with many of them inexperienced. Mr Mudhoo’s mount did get crowded “quite severely” but, he submitted, it did overreact, making the incident look worse. However, it was “clear cut”, he said.


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

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham said that Stewards placed the incident in the mid-range – three horses were affected, with one of those clipping heels. It was fortunate that there was no fall, Mr Oatham said.

Mr Hong has a good riding record with no breach of the careless riding rule on his record in the past 12 months, Mr Oatham said. In addition, Mr Hong had admitted the breach at the first opportunity, he said.

Recent penalties for careless riding have taken into account the effects of COVID-19. To be consistent with those penalties, Mr Oatham submitted, a suspension in the vicinity of 4 national riding days would be appropriate.

Mr Hong confirmed that he sought a deferment of suspension until after racing at Ashburton on 1 August next. Mr Walsh said that Mr Oatham’s submission was “fair and reasonable”.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee accepted Mr Oatham’s assessment of the degree of carelessness as being in the mid-range. That would normally attract a starting point of an 8 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 Hong’s very good record and his admission of the breach. It is important that penalties be consistent at this time. The Committee noted the penalty handed down in an earlier case at this course, on 15 July last, where the circumstances were similar to the present case (mid-range admitted breach, good record), where the rider was given a 4 national riding days suspension.


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

Mr Hong’s Apprentice Jockey’s Licence (Class B) is suspended for a period commencing on 2 August 2020 and ending on 12 August 2020, both dates inclusive – 4 national riding days.

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