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Geraldine TC 23 November 2019 - R 1 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 27 November 2019

RMcKenzie (chair)
G D Smith
Licensed Open Driver
Mr S P Renault - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Breaking Driving Engagement

Information No. A9028 was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr S P Renault, against Licensed Open Driver, Mr G D Smith, alleging that Mr Smith had “arrived late on course breaking his driving engagement on MUSCULATURE METRO” in Race 1, Sims Bakery Trot.

Mr Smith had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the information form indicating that he admitted the charge. He confirmed this at the hearing, at which he was present.

Rule 507 provides as follows:

(2) No horseman shall break an engagement to drive a horse.

Mr Renault told the Committee that Mr Smith had phoned him at approximately 11.47am this morning to advise he was still on the way to the course and it was possible he would not arrive in time for his drive on MUSCULATURE METRO in Race 1. The start time of Race 1 was 12.02pm. He advised that he had also phoned the trainer, Mr Harrington.

The other horse had gone onto the track so Mr Smith was replaced on MUSCULATURE METRO by Mr B N Orange.

Mr Smith said that he arrived on course 9 minutes before start time. He accepted that it was not fair and that is why he had phoned. He accepted full blame for being late. He only had one runner at the meeting and had a shoeing problem with that horse just prior to loading it at home, he said. He fixed the problem at home rather than bringing it on a wasted trip to the track if the problem could not be fixed. He phoned when it became apparent that he was not going to make it in time for the drive in Race 1. 


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

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Smith has a previous breach on 16 February 2019 which was outside the reset period – fined $225 at Oamaru. The Penalty Guide suggests a starting point of a 4-drives suspension or a $200 fine. Stewards were seeking a fine in the vicinity of that starting point, Mr Renault said.

He said that there may have been punters affected but this was mitigated by Mr Orange being able to take the drive.

Mr Smith said he wished the Committee to consider a fine rather than a term of suspension.

Reasons For Penalty:

Mr Smith has a clear record under the rule and he made a very frank admission of the breach. The Committee decided that a fine in the amount of the Penalty Guide starting point was appropriate.


Mr Smith is fined the sum of $200.

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