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Canterbury JC 11 November 2017 - R 7 - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 13 November 2017

NMoffatt (chair)
Mr J Waddell - Licensed Rider
Mr M Davidson - Stipendiary Steward
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of Race 7 (AL Basti Equiworld 45th NZ 2000 Guineas Group1) an Information was lodged by Mr J Oatham alleging a breach of Rule 638(1)(d) in that J WADDELL allowed EVER LOYAL to shift inwards when not clear of STAR TREASURE (R Myers) near the 1400 metres which was taken inwards checking EMBELLISH, BOSTONIAN and LINCOLN HILLS.

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

Mr Waddell confirmed to the Committee that he understood the charge and that he admitted the breach.

Mr Oatham had Mr Davidson show the incident using all available films. Using the head-on view he identified the runners involved. To Mr Waddell’s inside was Ms R Myers (STAR TREASURE) then EMBELLISH, BOSTONIAN and LINCOLN HILLS respectively. Mr Davidson showed these four runners being “badly squeezed up” as a result of Mr Waddell angling inwards when not clear of STAR TREASURE.

The side on view showed another perspective of the interference with Mr Davidson estimating that Mr Waddell was only a bare length clear of Ms Myers’ mount when he crossed. This was based on the video showing STAR TREASURE’S heels up inside those of Mr Waddell’s mount EVER LOYAL.

In response to a question from the Committee Mr Davidson estimated Mr Waddell had moved inwards approximately five horse widths.

Mr Waddell said he looked to his inside a number of times after the start and to begin with he was clear to come across as he did. At the time he crossed in front of Ms Myers he actually believed that he had cleared her, but after looking at the side-on video he accepted that he hadn’t. It was his opinion that he was 1½ lengths clear of STAR TREASURE not 1 length as estimated by Mr Davidson. Ms Myers did not call out to him and it wasn’t until he heard Mr Bosson call that he realised there was interference. At that point he tried to relieve the pressure.

Mr Waddell also told the Committee that his horse was known to be green and had shied at the big Valacchi truck parked outside the track. In addition Ms Myers horse was over-racing and wouldn’t “come back to her”.


As Mr Waddell admitted the breach we found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Oatham produced Mr Waddell’s record which showed three careless riding charges over the last 12 months:
8/03/17 - 4 days Avondale
1/04/17 - 11 days Trentham
28/10/17 - 4 days Riccarton

He confirmed that Ms Myers told the Stewards she was happy to let Mr Waddell cross over in front of her however her mount STAR TREASURE would “not come back to her” and, as a result, she ended up in an awkward position on the heels of Mr Waddell’s mount. Mr Oatham further said that as the interference began, Mr Waddell could be seen on video pulling on his outside rein in an effort to not run in any further; however the racing manners of his horse did not help the situation.

Mr Oatham said the end result was very severe interference to a number of horses in a very significant race. Assessing the incident overall the Stewards were of the opinion that the incident sat a little above mid-range and, taking into account the status of the race, submitted that a suspension in the 2-3 week range would be an appropriate penalty.

Mr Waddell was invited to make submissions on penalty. He did not disagree with the Stewards and said he believed his penalty should be between 10 and 14 days suspension with 10 days being on the light side and 14 on the high side. Mr Waddell suggested 12 days as being fair, considering the consequences of his actions and for a race of this stature. Mr Waddell said any longer than 14 days would encompass three Saturday meetings and four premier days, which he believed was overly harsh (he has a commitment to ride KAWI at Trentham in the Captain Cook Stakes on December 9th).

Mr Waddell said he had admitted the breach and had incurred only one careless riding charge in the last 6 months. He advised of riding commitments through until next Saturday and asked for a deferral of any suspension until after that date.

Reasons For Penalty:

In coming to a decision on penalty the Committee had regard to all of the submissions presented. On viewing the videos, particularly the head-on, Mr Waddell’s carelessness appeared to be at the very high end. He came across from a wide barrier, seeking a run closer to the rail, and crossed Ms Myer’s mount (STAR TREASURE) when not sufficiently clear. This initiated a concertina effect which saw four horses suffer severe crowding on the fence. We heard evidence however that STAR TREASURE was over-racing (confirmed by the Stewards), and that Mr Waddell attempted to correct his mount but had difficulty doing so, due to its racing manners.

These two factors perhaps reduce Mr Waddell’s degree of carelessness to one of midrange. Looking however at the totality of the incident, in particular the consequences of four horses suffering severe interference in a Group 1 race worth $500,000, it was our opinion that the starting point should be significantly higher than a midrange breach. If Mr Waddell had not come across as he did, the incident would not have occurred.

We adopted a starting point of 3 weeks.

Mr Waddell’s riding record up until 2 weeks ago was an excellent one and may have afforded him some discount however a recent charge has caused us to view his record as a neutral factor. The only mitigating factor was Mr Waddell’s ready admission of the breach for which we have reduced his suspension by one day.


Mr Waddell is suspended from the close of racing on Saturday November 18th, up to and including racing on Friday December 8th.

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