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Hawke's Bay RI 6 October 2018 - R 2 (instigating a protest) - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 08 October 2018

NMoffatt (chair)
Mrs M Northcott - representing Team Rogerson
Mr L Somervell - Trainer of STRADIVARIUS
Information Number:
Horse Name:
Persons present:
Mr W Pinn - Rider of STRADIVARIUS
Mr C Johnson - Rider of GIFT OF POWER
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward

Following Race 2 (Mardigras Events 1200), a protest was lodged pursuant to Rule 642(1) by Mr L Somervell alleging that horse number 1 (GIFT OF POWER) or its rider placed 5th by the Judge interfered with the chances of horse number 2 (STRADIVARIUS), placed 6th by the Judge.

The information alleged interference in the final straight.

Judges placings were:
1st - AWATANE (4)
2nd - BELLA GIOIA (8)
3rd - POWER O’HATA (6)
5th - GIFT OF POWER (1)

The official margin between 5th and 6th placed horses was two lengths.

Submissions For Decision:

At the commencement of the hearing Mr Oatham identified the runners involved and showed all 4 video angles on the split screen.

Mr Somervell said while he understood the protest only involved 5th and 6th placings, there was stake money involved for the owners and he believed there was enough interference to warrant an enquiry. He said the gap was available for STRADIVARIUS but there was blatant interference from GIFT OF POWER. Referring to the mowing lines on the track he showed where Mr Johnson’s mount came over and squeezed STRADIVARIUS out. As a result Mr Pinn was forced to sit up in the saddle and restrain his horse. Without the interference Mr Somervell suggested STRADIVARIUS would have finished 5th, if not closer.

Mr Pinn said the gap opened up for him but as he tried to go through he got checked and checked again. He said he had been holding his horse up for a run but when he went for the gap he was shut out. When asked by the Committee where he would have finished had he not been checked, Mr Pinn said his horse was flying and he hadn’t even started to ask him for an effort. He said it was as if he had just gone around for a gallop.

Mr Johnson said the gap may have appeared for a split second, but he didn’t think he had moved off his line of running very much at all. He said the leading horse may have come out slightly and contributed to the gap closing. He said the only time his horse moved out was when he received pressure on his hindquarters from the inside horse, otherwise he thought he was keeping a fairly straight line.

Mrs Northcott agreed with Mr Johnson and showed where the leading horse, VINNY’S VOLLIE, moved inwards opening the gap for STRADIVARIUS but then moved out again closing the gap. She said when GIFT OF POWER made contact with STRADIVARIUS that made the interference look worse.

For the Stewards Mr Oatham said near the 250m VINNY’S VOLLIE rolled in towards the rail opening a clear gap for STRADIVARIUS to improve into. Soon after however there was a shift inward from GIFT OF POWER which closed the gap on Mr Pinn. Mr Johnson’s movement was prior to any contact from STRADIVARIUS but once contact was made it had the effect of turning GIFT OF POWER in further. Mr Pinn made another attempt to get to the outside of VINNIE’S VOLLIE but again GIFT OF POWER shifted in closing the gap. Mr Oatham said from the Stewards’ perspective the protest had some merit.

Reasons For Decision:

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.

On two occasions inside the 250m STRADIVARIUS was denied a run between GIFT OF POWER and VINNIES VOLLEY. On each occasion there was a clear run available, and STRADIVARIUS was entitled to this run, until GIFT OF POWER shifted inwards and closed the gap. On the second occasion there may have been some minor contribution from VINNYS VOLLEY, but the majority of the movement came from GIFT OF POWER.

Throughout the final stages the Committee noted that STRADIVARIUS was always travelling well but due to the interference was unable to be extended and Mr Pinn said it was if the horse had not gone around.

Taking into account the sustained nature of the interference and the manner in which the horse was travelling the Committee was satisfied that if the interference had not occurred STRADIVARIUS would have beaten GIFT OF POWER.


Accordingly the protest was upheld and amended placings read:
1st - AWATANE (4)
2nd - BELLA GIOIA (8)
3rd - POWER O’HATA (6)
6th - GIFT OF POWER (1)

Stakes were directed to be paid accordingly.

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