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Hawkes Bay RI 30 January 2013 - R 7

Created on 01 February 2013

NMcCutcheon (chair)
Mr J Riddell - Jockey
Mr J Oatham - Stipendiary Steward
Ms M Wenn - Jockey
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number

Careless Riding.


Following the running of race 7, Information No. A3116 was filed with the judicial committee. The information read that Mr Riddell permitted his mount (Saint Martins) to shift inwards when not sufficiently clear of "The Toothfairy" which was checked near the 1400m.

Mr Riddell acknowledged that he understood the rule and the charge.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Oatham showed all available films and said that going into the turn (1400m) Mr Riddell allowed his mount to shift in and Ms Wenn had to check her mount (The Toothfairy) reasonably sharply. He said that when Mr Riddell went inwards he was no more than one length clear of Ms Wenn’s mount. He added that Ms Wenn’s mount lost approximately one and a half lengths.

Mr Riddell said that where the rail is today that the start is about 20m ahead of where it would be if the rail had been in its true position. He then asked Mr Oatham if he thought that the rail came out on the turn. Mr Oatham said that all people recognised that it was not the best starting point in New Zealand, but that the rail is where it is and clearly riders have to leave sufficient room for inside runners and said that he could not see where the rail comes out. He said that Mr Riddell had an obligation to give inside runners sufficient room and that in the view of the stewards he failed to do so.

Ms Wenn said that going into the first bend she had to check her mount due to the horse in front of her and to her outside coming across on her, she said that she could not see any pressure coming from further out. She said that Mr Riddell’s mount was one length clear when he came across and checked her. Mr Riddell asked Ms Wenn if she thought he had gone straight to the rail; she said perhaps not hard on the rail, she added that it is a bad corner and probably does not help.

Mr Goodwin then asked Ms Wenn if she believed that with the rail being out 7.5m did it contribute to the check? Ms Wenn replied no because it is a bad corner anyway.

Mr Riddell said that obviously Ms Wenn had been stuck for room on the fence, but that the angle he took he had kept a pretty straight line and believed that the rail came out. He said that when Ms Wenn called he came back off and angled back out and at no stage was he aiming to go to the rail. He said that it looked nasty but that the angle of the start and with the rail out it contributed to the incident. He said that he doubted the stewards view that it cost Ms Wenn 1.5 lengths and that she probably ended up racing where she wanted to be. He believed he was hard done by with where the rail was positioned. In response to a question from the committee Mr Riddell said that he was not aware that Ms Wenn was inside him until she called and that he was one length clear.

In summing up Mr Goodwin said that it was clear that Mr Riddell was not clear of Ms Wenn’s mount when he shifted across and that she had had to check her mount and believed that she lost 1.5 lengths.

Reasons For Decision:

After giving all submissions due consideration the committee found that near the 1400m Mr Riddell allowed his mount "Saint Martins" to shift into the rightful running line of The Toothfairy when only one length clear. As a consequence The Toothfairy received a relatively severe check losing approximately 1.5 lengths. 


As a result of the committee’s findings it found that the charge of careless riding was proved. 

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Goodwin said that Mr Riddell had a very good record with the most recent suspension being on:

20 October 2012 3 days

1 September 2012 5 days

22 Jun 2012 4 days

He submitted that on this occasion a suspension was appropriate and suggested that a suspension of no less than 4 days be imposed.

Mr Riddell agreed that the record was correct and after discussing the matter with his agent asked that any suspension be started after racing on 6 February 2013. 

Reasons For Penalty:

The committee considered the submissions on penalty from both Mr Goodwin and Mr Riddell. The starting point for careless riding is one of 5 riding days suspension. The committee believed that the only mitigating factor was Mr Riddell’s very good record. The aggravating factors were that Mr Riddell allowed his mount to shift into the rightful line of another horse and rider when being only 1 length clear, that shift resulted in relatively severe interference occurring. The committee determined that the carelessness was above mid-range and that a term of suspension of 5 days was an appropriate penalty.


Mr Riddell’s Jockey’s License was suspended from the conclusion of racing on 6 February 2013 up to and including racing on 13 February 2013 (5 riding days) the 5 days being 8 February (Taranaki), 9 February (Hamilton or Manawatu), 10 February (Counties), 11 February (Waipa), 13 February (Ellerslie).

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