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Geraldine TC 23 November 2019 - R 3 (request for a ruling) - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 27 November 2019

RMcKenzie (chair)
Stipendiary Steward(s):
S P Renault, Stipendiary Steward
B Weaver, Licensed Open Driver
Information Number:

Following the running of Race 3, Placemakers Timaru Pace, an information requesting a ruling was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr S P Renault, as to whether CHALBERG, trained and driven by Mr Weaver was denied a fair start.

Mr Weaver was present at the hearing.

Rule 213 provides as follows:

(1) A Stipendiary Steward at any time may scratch from a race . . . any horse on all or any of the following grounds:

    (j) if a horse was denied a fair start and such occurrence materially prejudiced the chances of that horse.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Renault showed video replays of the start of the race – a standing start over the distance of 2500 metres. He pointed out the two runners concerned – CHALBERG, driven by Mr Weaver, which had drawn barrier position 4, and UNO MIA (K K Tomlinson), which had drawn barrier position 5.

Just prior to the start, UNO MIA charged at the barrier strand and its driver took a hold of it, as it wanted to get in on CHALBERG. The Committee was being asked to determine whether, as a result of UNO MIA moving in onto CHALBERG, the latter was denied a fair start and its chances materially prejudiced. Or did Mr Weaver’s horse break of its own accord? It was certainly being crowded, Mr Renault said.

One camera angle showed, that at the point of the tape being released, UNO MIA’s head was pointed outwards as Miss Tomlinson was attempting to pull it off CHALBERG. The latter did break for a short distance and lose some ground.

Mr Weaver said that the wheel of Miss Tomlinson’s sulky had come inside his wheel and prevented him from taking his position up on the barrier. He had been a couple of lengths behind when the barrier was released, he said. He called to the starter just as the start was effected. His horse was checked and galloped, and settled down towards the rear of the field. He had hoped to be in the first three, he said.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee was satisfied from the evidence and submissions of the parties, and from its viewing of the available video replays, that CHALBERG was denied a fair start in the race by virtue of being crowded and hampered by UNO MIA on its outside as that runner moved down on it as CHALBERG was being brought up to the barrier prior to the start. We are satisfied that CHALBERG was denied a fair start.

The second requirement is that the chances of CHALBERG were materially prejudiced by being denied a fair start. The Committee noted that CHALBERG broke as the barrier was released, as a result of being hampered prior to the start. The horse lost significant ground and settled down some 8-10 lengths from the leader. We are satisfied that its chances were materially prejudiced.


The ruling of the Committee is that CHALBERG is a late scratching in the race.

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