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Hawke's Bay RI 1 September 2018 - R 1 - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 05 September 2018

NMoffatt (chair)
Mr J Riddell - Licensed Jockey
Mr T Allan - Licensed Jockey
Mr C Johnson - Licensed Jockey
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless riding
Following the running of Race 1 (Redwood Trophy 2000m), an information was lodged by Mr J Oatham alleging a breach of Rule 638(1)(d) in that "Jockey, J Riddell allowed his mount to shift inwards passing the 400m dictating AONGATETE EXPRESS inwards onto SWISS ELLE which was checked".
Submission For Decision:
Mr Oatham asked Mr Goodwin to show the films and explain the incident. From near the 600m turning into the home straight, Mr Allan (SWISS ELLE) was racing in a position on the running rail with Mr Riddell (LOOK OUT) to his outside. Mr Johnston (AONGATETE EXPRESS) was attempting a run between these two runners and Mr Riddell was trying to stop him getting out by holding his line of running. Mr Goodwin described this aspect of the incident as “competitive riding” between Mr Riddell and Mr Johnson. Mr Johnson did eventually push out and was established in a position between the tiring SWISS ELLE and Mr Riddell. At this point of the race Mr Riddell shifted in tightening Mr Johnson onto SWISS ELLE which was checked.

Mr Riddell asked Mr Goodwin if his rightful line of running was “one-off” the fence. Mr Goodwin agreed that it was however Mr Oatham clarified that statement by saying it was only his rightful line until Mr Johnson established himself in the gap. From that point on it was not Mr Riddell’s rightful line of running. The Committee sought clarification from Mr Goodwin if, in his opinion, Mr Johnson had pushed Mr Riddell out. Mr Goodwin replied that Mr Johnson had “eased” Mr Riddell outwards, in a competitive manner. Mr Goodwin conceded that Mr Johnson was not clear of Mr Riddell when he angled out.

Mr Allan gave evidence for the Stewards. He told the Committee that he was “minding his own business” on SWISS ELLE but she was tiring. There was pressure from his outside and he was lucky to stand up due to the interference he received. He confirmed that Mr Johnson was on his outside and reiterated that had received a nasty check.

Mr Johnson gave evidence for the Stewards. He told the Committee that initially he was following Mr Allan (SWISS ELLE) but as that horse began to weaken he improved to its outside. As he moved off the inside he had Mr Riddell riding competitively on his outside and that made things a bit tight. Mr Johnson agreed with Mr Oatham that he was established outside of SWISS ELLE and said he then “bounced off” Mr Riddell’s mount causing interference to SWISS ELLE on the rail.

Mr Riddell asked Mr Johnson if he had created a run for himself by competitive riding. He agreed that he had but said that was before they straightened up. In response to a question from the Committee Mr Johnson admitted making contact with Mr Riddell’s mount when he eased out, but described the contact as “brushing”.

Mr Riddell based his defence on the belief that his rightful line of running was always one-off the fence. He showed where he was pushed off that line by Chris Johnson on AONGATETE EXPRESS when he came out from behind the tiring SWISS ELLE. Mr Riddell said Mr Johnson put himself in a positon where there was never a run for him. He questioned why it was acceptable for that rider to push out and yet it was not acceptable for him to push back in. Mr Riddell said it was clear that Tony Allan was checked but that was only because Mr Johnson went for a run that wasn’t there.

Mr Oatham summed up the case for the Stewards. He said how Mr Johnson got to the outside of SWISS ELLE was irrelevant to this charge. The Stewards were only interested in the part of the race once Mr Johnson had established himself in the 2-wide position. He said although Mr Riddell ended up in the 3-wide position, he did not then have the right to ride back in, resulting in interference to the horse on the rail. Mr Oatham said once Mr Riddell found himself in the 3-wide position he was obliged to maintain that line of running and not shift back in as he did.

Mr Riddell said it was quite clear that Chris Johnson pushed his way into the gap and moved him out off his rightful line of running. The interference suffered by SWISS ELLE on the rail was a result of Chris Johnson moving out to force a run that wasn’t available.
Reasons For Decision:
In coming to a decision, the Committee considered the following matters.
We observed that racing past the 600m AONGATETE EXPRESS (C Johnson) was racing adjacent to the running rail behind SWISS ELLE (T Allan) who was under some pressure to hold its position. Racing immediately to the outside of AONGATETE EXPRESS was LOOKOUT (J Riddell). Shortly afterwards it was observed that Mr Johnson commenced to shift his mount out, away from the running rail, to avoid the weakening SWISS ELLE. In doing so he put pressure onto LOOKOUT, whose rider, Mr Riddell, attempted to maintain his position of one-off the fence.

Mr Johnson did eventually push out between SWISS ELLE and AONGATETE EXPRESS. On the final part of the bend, before straightening for the run home, SWISS ELLE, who was obviously weakening, and unable to hold its position, was tightened and suffered significant interference.

It was the Committee’s opinion that Mr Riddell moved inwards only half a horse width and did so in an attempt to hold his prior position, a position he lost due to Mr Johnson pushing him outwards.

When viewing the incident in its entirety the Committee found that both Mr Johnson and Mr Riddell were riding competitively. It was our opinion that the interference could not be attributed solely to Mr Riddell.
Accordingly, the charge of careless riding against Mr Riddell was dismissed.
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