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Canterbury R 25 January 2014 - R 1

Created on 29 January 2014

Rules:
638(1)(d)
Committee:
RMcKenzie (chair)
SChing
Name(s):
J S Bullard
Licensed Jockey
S L Wynne
Licensed Apprentice Jockey
Informant
M Zarb
Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A6217
Plea:
Denied
Charge:
Careless riding
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 1, Karaka 2014 Starts Monday Two and Three Year Old, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr M Zarb, against Licensed Jockey (Class A), Mr J S Bullard, alleging that Mr Bullard, as the rider of REDLINE in the race, “allowed his mount to shift inwards when insufficiently clear of COUP CAPRIO (S L Wynne) which shifted inwards onto CHOICE SNITZEL (C R Barnes) which in turn crowded COFFEE (A M Morgan) which became unbalanced and lost ground”.

Mr Bullard was present at the hearing of the information and he indicated that he denied the breach. 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.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Zarb said that the Stewards’ evidence would rely on the videos of the incident. He had Stipendiary Steward, Mr S P Renault, show video replays of the incident, approximately 200 metres after the start of the 1200 metres race. Mr Renault pointed out REDLINE, ridden by Mr Bullard, which had drawn the outside barrier and had improved to a 3-wide position near the lead. On his inside was COUP CAPRIO (S L Wynne) and inside that runner was CHOICE SNITZEL (C R Barnes). On the rails inside of and behind CHOICE SNITZEL was COFFEE (A M Morgan). Mr Zarb alleged that Mr Bullard had crossed in front of COUP CAPRIO when insufficiently clear of that runner. Miss Wynne became awkwardly placed and was forced to go inwards, as a result of which the other two runners received checks. Mr Bullard was never two lengths clear at any stage, no more than 1–1½ lengths, Mr Zarb submitted.

Mr Zarb said that the Stewards did not believe that Mr Bullard was ever the required two lengths clear which resulted in the crowding to the runners on his inside.

Mr Bullard said that he had jumped from the outside barrier and was outside ZEINA (J Wong), which then crossed to the rail. He had gradually come down towards the rail. Miss Wynne’s mount was overracing. He had given her “ample room” to get up inside him in the first 200 metres, but she was not there. Mr Bullard said that he may have been 1¾ length clear of her at the time, not “the full two”. Her horse was racing “very strong”, he alleged. Mr Bullard submitted that he had not moved a lot. Miss Barnes had pulled her horse inwards as he, Mr Bullard, moved forward. He did not believe that the interference was his fault, he said. He had given Miss Barnes ample time to pull back in behind him and pull out and around him, but she had elected to direct her horse inwards and had tightened the two runners on her inside, Mr Bullard said.

Mr Zarb confirmed that, during the Stewards’ initial inquiry, Miss Wynne had said that her only option was to shift in. Her horse had been racing keenly and she had panicked and shifted in, she had said. She was unaware of where Mr Bullard was.

However, Mr Zarb alleged, regardless of what Miss Wynne was doing, she was unable to relieve the pressure because, when Mr Bullard was making his manoeuvre, he was not the required two lengths clear and, therefore, Miss Wynne had no option but to shift in. He referred again to the head-on video and alleged that Mr Bullard was in a 3-wide position but, with three horses inside him, he should have been 4-wide. He continued to shift in when there was not room for three horses inside him. Miss Wynne was unable to relieve the pressure at any stage, Mr Zarb alleged.

The Committee adjourned the hearing at this point to enable Miss Wynne to attend the hearing to be questioned.

When the hearing resumed, Miss Wynne said that, shortly after the field had jumped, the reins of another runner were momentarily (for about three strides) wrapped around her foot. She had to take her foot out of the stirrup to release it. Until she regained control of her mount it had overraced, she said. She had angled her mount in until she regained control. In response to a question from the Committee, Miss Wynne agreed that the reason that she could not go across the heels of Mr Bullard’s mount was that he was not clear of her. She agreed that Mr Bullard had come across and dictated her inwards. She further agreed that he was not clear of her – no more than 1 to 1¼ lengths.

Mr Zarb had no questions of Miss Wynne. Mr Bullard, at this point, acknowledged that whilst he had dictated her line (being only 1¼ to 1½ lengths clear, he alleged) he put it to Miss Wynne there had been no attempt by her to steady to “help matters”. He stated that he had to cross at some stage and could not sit 3-wide without cover. He submitted that he had been clear of her initially but that Miss Wynne had come from behind him.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee was satisfied from the evidence that it heard from the Stipendiary Stewards, Mr Bullard and Miss Wynne and from the video evidence that Mr Bullard was not his required own length and another length clear when he allowed his mount, REDLINE, to shift inwards 200 metres after the start of Race 1 on to COUP CAPRIO, ridden by Miss Wynne, which forced her to shift inwards which, in turn, caused crowding to two other runners.

Mr Bullard himself, eventually conceded that he was not the required distance clear and, in the end, his defence came down to the submission that Miss Wynne could have eased her mount and avoided the interference. Miss Wynne, who had clear racing room, was not obliged to do this.

We were satisfied that Miss Wynne was shifted in by Mr Bullard and had to avoid the heels of Mr Bullard’s mount. This resulted in the checks to the other runners, CHOICE SNITZEL and COFFEE. We do not believe that Miss Wynne’s mount was responsible in any degree for the interference to those two runners.

We find that, in shifting ground inwards when not sufficiently clear of Miss Wynne’s mount, Mr Bullard rode carelessly and we therefore find the charge of careless riding proved. 

Decision:

The charge was found proved. 

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Zarb informed the Committee that Mr Bullard’s most recent suspension was on 26 October 2013 at Canterbury. He was suspended for 4 days which, on appeal, was altered to 3 days and a fine of $750.

The Stewards viewed the degree of carelessness and consequences in the present case as being mid-high, with three horses being interfered with, two of them “rather seriously”, Mr Zarb said. He submitted that a suspension for 5 days was an appropriate penalty. There were no mitigating factors, he submitted.

The Committee discussed upcoming race dates with the parties. Mr Bullard sought a deferment for 7 days to enable him to carry out riding engagements at Wingatui on 1 February 2014. Mr Zarb confirmed that Mr Bullard was regarded as a South Island rider.

Mr Bullard was given the opportunity to make submissions regarding penalty but declined to do so. 

Reasons For Penalty:

In determining penalty, the Committee took a starting point of a 5 day suspension, as recommended in the Penalty Guide.

A mitigating factor was Mr Bullard’s riding record, which we regarded as being reasonably good. We were informed that he has had some 80 rides since his most recent suspension. In addition, we took into account that Mr Bullard is a South Island rider. We give him 1 day’s discount for each of those factors, a total of 2 days.

An aggravating factor was the consequences of Mr Bullard’s carelessness. While the degree of carelessness was, at worst, mid-range, the consequences were more serious with interference of varying degrees being suffered by three other runners in the race, one quite badly. We add 1 day for this factor.

The net result is a suspension for 4 days. 

Penalty:

The Committee was satisfied that Mr Bullard had riding engagements for Wingatui on 1 February 2014 and allowed a deferment of the suspension for 7 days pursuant to Rule 1106 (2) (b). Mr Bullard’s jockey’s licence is, therefore, suspended from the conclusion of racing on Saturday, 1 February 2014, up to and including Saturday, 15 February 2014 – effectively, 4 riding days. The meetings intended to be encompassed by the term of suspension are Motukarara on 3 February, Gore on 5 February, Ashburton on 10 February and Invercargill on 15 February 2014.

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