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Hawkes Bay RI 27 May 2013 - R 9

Created on 30 May 2013

NMoffatt (chair)
Mr R Hutchings - Apprentice Jockey
Mr G Lowry Trainer
Mr J Oatham
Mr N Goodwin Stipendiary Steward
Information Number

Following the running of Race 9, the Bayer Cropscience 1400, an Information was lodged by Mr N Goodwin alleging a breach of Rule 638(1) (d) in that R Hutchings permitted his mount “SONATA” to move outwards when not sufficiently clear of “GOLD ROCK” which was checked near the 75 metres.


Mr Goodwin read the rule and Mr Hutchings said he understood the nature of the charge and confirmed that he admitted the breach. As Mr Hutchings is an apprentice rider Mr G Lowry was present to offer support.

Mr Oatham explained the incident using the head-on and side-on videos. Over the concluding stages, while under a hard ride, Mr Hutchings allowed his mount to move outwards onto Mr Leung riding GOLD ROCK. While the shift was not huge Mr Hutchings did not take any remedial action and GOLD ROCK lost considerable momentum. Mr Oatham said the Stewards believed the interference had an impact on the final placings with GOLD ROCK finishing in fifth place.

Mr Hutchings said his horse was “green’ and he had ridden it at its last start when it also ran out under pressure but on that occasion it moved inwards towards the running rail. He said today he was not ready for her to duck out in the opposite direction. Mr Hutchings admitted to not being the required distance clear but pointed out that GOLD ROCK was only battling while he was travelling much better. Mr Hutchings said he was trying to win the race and if he had stopped riding he probably would not have won. He also mentioned that he thought the horse on the outside of Mr Leung may have contributed to the interference by moving inwards slightly.

Mr Lowry agreed that if Mr Hutchings had stopped riding to correct his mount he might not have won the race.


As Mr Hutchings admitted the breach we found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Goodwin produced Mr Hutching’s riding record which showed the following suspensions:

12/1/13       5 days

8/12/12       5 days

29/11/12     2 days

4/8/12        3 days

Mr Goodwin said Mr Hutchings was intent on winning the race and won at the expense of GOLD ROCK who chances were clearly affected. The Stewards' submission was for a suspension of not less than 5 days.

Mr Hutchings submitted that 4 days was a more appropriate suspension as it had been a few months since his last charge. He said riders were paid to win races and asked the committee to consider the slight contributory movement from the outside horse in. He advised of riding commitments through until Wanganui on Saturday June 1st.

Mr Lowry, in supporting Mr Hutchings, said he had admitted the breach and was well aware of his actions. His submission was that the penalty should not be too harsh.

Reasons For Penalty:

In coming to a decision on an appropriate penalty the committee took into account all of the submissions and adopted, as a starting point, a period of five days suspension. Mr Hutchings is currently the leading apprentice and as such he is a busy rider. Assessing the number of careless riding charges over the past year we therefore consider his record to be a good one. We also note that this is an improvement on his record of previous seasons. We also gave credit to Mr Hutchings for his admission of the breach. Normally these combined factors would result in a reduction from the 5 day starting point however this was offset by the degree of carelessness and the consequences of the interference.

The head-on view clearly showed where SONATA moved outwards and took the line of GOLD ROCK. This horse was never going to beat Mr Hutchings but up until that point it was holding its ground in second or third place. As a result of the interference however GOLD ROCK lost considerable ground and finished in fifth place. Of significance was that Mr Hutchings made no attempt to straighten his mount up displaying a “win at all costs” attitude. We were not satisfied that the runner outside of GOLD ROCK contributed to the interference. Balancing all of these factors it was our opinion that a five day suspension was an appropriate penalty.


Mr Hutchings is suspended from the close of racing on Saturday June 1st up to and including racing on Friday June 7th. Race days in this period are:

2/6/13             Otago

3/6/13             Auckland

5/6/13             Matamata

6/6/13             Taranaki

10/6/13           Waimate

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