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Gore RC 28 September 2018 - R 4 (instigating a protest) - Chair, Mr M Conway

Created on 01 October 2018

Rules:
642(1)
Committee:
MConway (chair)
GHall
Respondent(s):
Ms C Spittles - Trainer of AJAY TEE
Informant:
Mr B Blatch - Co-trainer of FREE AND EASY
Information Number:
A8624
Horse Name:
AJAY TEE
Persons present:
Ms J Morris - Rider of FREE AND EASY
Mr G Jogoo - Rider of AJAY TEE
Mr M Davidson - Stipendiary Steward
Evidence:

Following the running of race 4, the HOKONUI CONTRACTING/MERIAL ANCARE HANDICAP RATING 65 1200 metres, the connections of FREE AND EASY lodged a protest under r 642(1) against AJAY TEE alleging interference approximately 200 metres from the finish.

The official placings were:

1st 8 MOSS JAZZ
2ND 6 AJAY TEE
3RD 12 FREE AND EASY
4TH 4 TAPONISME

The official margin between 2nd and 3rd was a head.

Rule 642(1) states: “If a placed horse or its rider causes interference within the meaning of this rule 642 to another placed horse, and the Judicial Committee is of the opinion that the horse so interfered with would have finished ahead of the first mentioned horse had such interference not occurred, they may place the first mentioned horse immediately after the horse interfered with”.

(2) For the purposes of Rules 637 and 642:

(a) “placed horse” shall be a horse placed by the Judge in accordance with Rule 641(3); and

(b) “interference” is defined as:

(i) a horse crossing another horse without being at least its own length and one other clear length in front of such other horse at the time of crossing;

(ii) a horse jostling with another horse, unless it is proved that such jostling was caused by the fault of some other horse or Rider or that the horse or Rider jostled with was partly at fault; or

(iii) a horse itself, or its Rider, in any way interfering with another horse or the Rider of another horse in a Race, unless it is proved that such interference was caused by the fault of some other horse or Rider or that the horse or Rider interfered with was partly at fault.

Mr Davidson, Stipendiary Steward, pointed out the relevant runners on the video replays.

Submissions For Decision:

Mr Blatch, the co-trainer of FREE AND EASY, stated that Mr Jogoo, riding the inside horse, had shifted ground outwards near the 175 metres and there had been contact with FREE AND EASY. That horse had lost momentum before making up ground on AJAY TEE at the winning post. When the Committee asked him to assess the ground that FREE AND EASY had lost, he replied he believed it was maybe a neck.

Ms Morris, the rider of FREE AND EASY, gave evidence that FREE AND EASY had lost its balance as a result of the contact by AJAY TEE, which was shifting outwards on the track and into her running line. She believed she had lost significant momentum, and this had cost her about ½ a length. She said FREE AND EASY had continued to lose ground and had taken some time to get balanced.

Ms Spittles, the trainer of AJAY TEE, stated that she accepted the horse had shifted out and had come into contact with FREE AND EASY. She emphasised both horses were inconvenienced by the contact. Each horse had lost its opportunity, but Ms Morris had been able to continue to ride her horse. FREE AND EASY had had 150 metres to pick itself up and get to the line and beat AJAY TEE into second. It had not been able to do so. However, she accepted that Ms Morris had been able to “finish the race off good”.

Mr Jogoo, the rider of AJAY TEE, stated his horse had shifted out suddenly. He accepted there had been contact with FREE AND EASY.

Ms Morris was invited to reply to Ms Spittles’ assertions. She confirmed FREE AND EASY was finishing the race off strongly. She said AJAY TEE had been rolling out prior to contact and had been dictating her line. It was quite a bump. The track was testing and her mount took time to regain its momentum. She agreed she had not had to stop riding but she had had to put her stick away for a few strides.

Ms Spittles disputed this saying Ms Morris had used the whip not long after contact.

Mr Davidson, Stipendiary Steward, was invited to comment on the videos and the oral evidence. He said the film was clear. AJAY TEE had shifted out and there was contact. It was a firm bump. He believed Ms Morris had been forced at least 2 horse widths wider on the track and that FREE AND EASY had continued to shift outwards. The margin at the finish was a head and FREE AND EASY had made up good ground on AJAY TEE late.

Reasons For Decision:

It is clear from the videos that AJAY TEE has shifted out into the running line of Ms Morris and there was contact with FREE AND EASY. The outwards movement prior to contact was some 2 horse-widths over the course of several strides. During this time Mr Jogoo used his whip 3 times and made no effort to correct his mount. The only correction was upon contact. Ms Morris received quite a bump and FREE AND EASY took quite some time to regain its momentum as it shifted wider on the track. Ms Morris did use her whip quite soon after contact and this would appear to be in an effort to rebalance, straighten and refocus FREE AND EASY. It is clear that FREE AND EASY has lost momentum and, as Ms Morris has said, the track was testing.

Significantly, FREE AND EASY finished the race off better than AJAY TEE. The margin was a head. We are satisfied that the interference was severe enough to warrant a change of placings. We believe the interference cost FREE AND EASY at least ½ a length and are of the opinion that FREE AND EASY would have run second had the interference not occurred.

Decision:

We exercise our discretion and the protest is upheld. The official placings are now:

1st 8 MOSS JAZZ
2ND 12 FREE AND EASY
3RD 6 AJAY TEE
4TH 4 TAPONISME

Stakes and dividends are to be paid accordingly.

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