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Invercargill HRC 22 November 2019 - R 9 - Chair, Prof G Hall

Created on 27 November 2019

Rules:
869(3)(b)
Committee:
GHall (chair)
MConway
Name(s):
Mr J Morrison - Junior Horseman
Miss R Haley - Stipendiary Steward
Ms S Ottley - Open Horsewoman
Informant
Mr N Ydgren - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A12871
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Careless driving
Evidence:

Mr Ydgren alleged that Mr Morrison (FRANCO HUNTINGTON) drove carelessly when shifting ground inwards near the 100 metres in race 9 causing interference to SAGWITCH (K Tomlinson) and TARTAN TRILOGY (N Williamson).

Mr Morrison admitted the breach and was assisted by Ms Ottley.

Miss Haley demonstrated on the films that FRANCO HUNTINGTON was racing in the one out one back position. Mr Ydgren stated that the respondent’s horse was full of running but was laying in. SAGWITCH, which had been in the lead for much of the race, was in the passing lane and TARTAN TRILOGY had established a run in the passing lane to the inside of SAGWITCH. The respondent shifted inwards in the belief that he would be able to shift Ms Tomlinson down, but she was unable to do so because Mr Williamson was to her inside. She thus ran out of room and was dictated inwards on to Mr Williamson. Mr Ydgren said interference to Ms Tomlinson and Mr Williamson was thus unavoidable.

Mr Morrison said FRANCO HUNTINGTON was going good in the one / one. The trailing horse, SAGWITCH, was tiring. He had a quick glance inwards and saw the head of SAGWITCH. He did not see Mr Williamson, as he was obscured by SAGWITCH. He did not hear anything from any driver. He shifted down on the track and believed he was almost through the gap before the interference occurred.

Decision:

As Mr Morrison has admitted the breach, it is found to be proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Ydgren produced the respondent’s record. He described Mr Morrison as a busy South Island driver. He has had 185 drives this season and 702 last season. He had had 656 drives since his last charge under the careless driving rule. He stated this record was excellent.

Mr Ydgren identified the starting point in the JCA Penalty Guide as being a 10 drive suspension or a $500 fine for a first offence. He described the breach as mid-range.

Mr Morrison said it had been a long time since he was in this situation. He emphasised that his record was very good under this rule. He did not seek deferral of any suspension and asked us to consider a suspension and a fine. This submission was endorsed by Ms Ottley.

Reasons For Penalty:

The videos evidence the fact that Mr Morrison did look to his inside before shifting ground. It is only a brief inwards glance, however. We accept his statement that he did not see Mr Williamson racing to the inside of Ms Tomlinson. The breach is mid-range. TARTAN TRILOGY, which was a favoured runner (3/3 in the betting) and had been shuffled back in the field after trailing SAGWITCH, was improving in the passing lane when it suffered interference and galloped, losing all chance. Ms Tomlinson’s horse, SAGWITCH, was under pressure at the time.

After considering the gravity of the breach, the respondent’s admission and his excellent record, we believe a 2-day suspension is appropriate. The gravity of the breach is such that we do not believe it can be met by way of a suspension and a fine.

Penalty:

Drivers have been declared for the weekend. Mr Morrison is suspended from the end of racing on 24 November up to and including 29 November. This is 2 South Island meetings.

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