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20 Sep 2020
Harness-Racing-Waikato - R 9

Waikato BOP H 20 September 2020 - R 9 (instigating a protest) - Chair, Mr N McCutcheon

Created on 24 September 2020

NMcCutcheon (chair)
Mr B Butcher - Driver of DOWN THE HATCH
Mr S Mulcay - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number:
Horse Name:
Persons present:
Mr J Muirhead - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Mr D Ferguson - Driver of MAC'S TOMADO (4th)

Following the running of Race 9 (Mike Berger Stables Mobile Pace) Information A12250 was filed with the Judicial Committee. It was alleged that DOWN THE HATCH (2nd) gained an advantage by racing over several track markers approaching the 50m when inside of MAC’S TOMADO (4th).

Submissions For Decision:

Mr Muirhead identified the runners involved on the film replays. He then said that MAC’S TOMADO who had been in the trail shifted down into the passing lane on straightening up. He added that DOWN THE HATCH then shifted down inside MAC’S TOMADO after being 3-back on the markers. Mr Muirhead said that DOWN THE HATCH ran over some marker pegs near the 50m.

In answer to questions from Mr Mulcay, Mr Ferguson said that after shifting into the passing lane he was of the opinion that he had kept a straight line to the end of the race. He said that he was not aware of what was happening to his inside as he was concentrating on driving his horse.

Mr Butcher said that when he shifted down inside MAC’S TOMADO that there was room to do so. He said that MAC’S TOMADO moved in fractionally which saw him run over the maker pegs.

In answer to questions from the Chair Mr Mulcay said that the sulky wheel of DOWN THE HATCH ran over 2 marker pegs, with the second being just on the inside part of the peg. He said that whether an advantage had been gained was for the Committee to determine.

Reasons For Decision:

As the field turned for home MAC’S TOMADO who had been in the trail, shifted to the inside of the leader into the passing lane. DOWN THE HATCH who had been trailing MAC’S TOMADO then shifted down to the inside of that runner. At that time there appeared to be room for DOWN THE HATCH to do so. As they raced further down the straight DOWN THE HATCH’s inside sulky wheel went over two marker pegs. At the time MAC’S TOMADO may have shifted in fractionally, which saw DOWN THE HATCH placed in a much tighter position than the marginal gap it had been racing in.

Albeit DOWN THE HATCH raced over two marker pegs and went on to finish 2nd, the Committee was not comfortably satisfied that an advantage had been gained.


The Protest was dismissed.

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