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Canterbury JC 26 February 2021 - R 6 (instigating a protest) - Chair, Mr S Ching

Created on 03 March 2021

SChing (chair)
S Toolooa-Class B Rider
R Cuneen-Class A Rider.
B Wilson-Licensed Trainer
K Hughes-Licensed Trainer
M Davidson- Stipendiary Steward
Information Number:
Horse Name:
Persons present:
J Oatham Chief Stipendiary Steward

Following the running of Race 6, the Janet Francis Rating 65, Stipendiary Steward Mr M Davidson, filed an Information instigating a protest, under Rule 642(1) in that ISLAND HOP, ridden by Mr S Toolooa, placed first by the Judge, interfered with the chances of CLOONEY, ridden by Mr R Cuneen, placed second by the Judge, alleging interference over the concluding stages. The official margin between first and second was a head.

The Judge's placings in this race were as follows:

1st ISLAND HOP (1)
2nd CLOONEY (3)

The connections of ISLAND HOP were represented at this hearing by Rider, Mr S Toolooa and Trainer, Mr K Hughes, with Rider, Mr R Cuneen and Trainer, Mr B Wilson representing the connections of CLOONEY.

Submissions For Decision:

The Informant, Mr Davidson, with the assistance of Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr J Oatham, showed the available films showed the alleged interference from the 100m. He pointed out ISLAND HOP improving on the outside of CLOONEY near the 200m and showed that from near the 100m ISLAND HOP, when under a ride, shifted ground inwards continuously over the final stages making contact with CLOONEY on a number of occasions, with the margin at the line being a head. He estimated that ISLAND HOP shifted in over the final stages four to five horse widths. Mr Oatham stated that CLOONEY had been continually taken off its rightful line of running, had his momentum affected and restricted the ability of his Rider to ride his mount out to full effect over the concluding stages.

Mr Hughes, for the connections of ISLAND HOP, submitted that Mr Cuneen had never stopped riding his mount out over the final stages and both Riders were riding their respective mounts out fully. He acknowledged both horses came together with Mr Cuneen never missing a beat. Mr Hughes added that both horses retaliated against each other and he could see no reason why the result should change. He stated that ISLAND HOP had come from behind CLOONEY and with both horses being ridden out to the line, there was no way CLOONEY would have ever beaten ISLAND HOP.

Mr Cuneen stated that from the 100m ISLAND HOP dictated his mount inwards making severe contact on at least three occasions which cost his mount momentum and believed that the interference cost his horse about a length. He added that if he was able to maintain a straight course to the winning post, he would have won the race easily.

Mr Wilson stated that Mr Cuneen had summed up the incident well and added that it was clear on the films that his horse had suffered interference.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee carefully considered the evidence presented and the video coverage of the alleged incident. The Committee was satisfied that approaching the 100m, ISLAND HOP, had improved to the outside of CLOONEY, and at the 100m, when under a ride, began to shift ground inwards in a continuous manner, dictating CLOONEY on an inward movement. This shift was determined to be at least 5 horse widths over the final 100m. The Committee was also satisfied that solid contact was made on at least 3 occasions over the final stages with CLOONEY clearly affected by this contact by becoming unbalanced therefore affecting the horse’s momentum. The Committee was further satisfied that CLOONEY suffered interference to the extent that its chances were affected. Taking all factors into consideration, including the margin of a head, and on the balance of probabilities, determined that CLOONEY would have beaten ISLAND HOP but for the interference received from that horse over the final 100m.

The Committee therefore determined that this protest be upheld with ISLAND HOP being relegated to second place.


The protest was upheld with amended result as follows:

1st CLOONEY (3)
2nd ISLAND HOP (1)

It was ordered that dividends and stakes be paid in accordance with the amended placings.

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