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Kumara RC 9 January 2021 - R 9 (instigating a protest) - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 11 January 2021

RMcKenzie (chair)
M R & M M Pitman
Licensed Trainers (Class A)
P D J Harris
Licensed Trainer (Class A)
Information Number:
Horse Name:
Persons present:
M R Davidson
Stipendiary Steward
B M Murray
Licensed Jockey (Class A)
K Chowdhoory
Licensed Apprentice Jockey (Class B)
J P Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward

Following the running of Race 9, Speight’s/Super Liquor 1810m, an Information instigating a protest was filed by Licensed Trainer (Class A), Mr P D J Harris, alleging that CANOLI (K Chowdhoory), placed 1st by the Judge, interfered with the chances of MCGOWAN (B M Murray), trained by him, placed 2nd by the Judge, on the ground of “interference early in the home straight”.

Present at the hearing were Mr Harris, Messrs M P & M M Pitman (Trainers of CANOLI), and Jockeys, Mr B M Murray and Mr K Chowdhoory.

Rule 642 provides as follows:

(1) 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 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.

The Judge’s official margin between 1st and 2nd was a ½ length.

Submissions For Decision:

Stipendiary Steward, Mr M R Davidson, showed head-on and side-on video replays of the final 200-300 metres of the race, to point out the runners involved. He showed that CANOLI led turning into the home straight with MCGOWAN racing outside it. On the turn, CANOLI ran wide. Mr Davidson said that, Stewards believed, that there were two points of contact from the turn – the first just past the 200 metres and the other prior to the 150 metres.

Mr Harris submitted that MCGOWAN was entitled to his line of running, but had been dictated to by CANOLI. He believed that there had been three points of contact, twice severely, and MCGOWAN had been forced over extra ground, up to five horse widths. He acknowledged that the final margin was a ½ length, but submitted that his runner had been affected to the extent of at least 3 lengths and was making ground at the finishing line.

Mr M R Pitman acknowledged that the two runners had come together but asserted that the result had not been affected. He accepted that CANOLI had moved out and contact had been made, but MCGOWAN had not lost ground and CANOLI had been going away at the line, and easing down. The margin was a “big half length”, he submitted. MCGOWAN had every opportunity to win the race but was not good enough, he said.

Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr J P Oatham, was asked to comment on the incident. He said that, approaching the 200 metres, there had been a significant outwards shift by CANOLI and contact made to MCGOWAN, shifting that runner 2-3 horse widths. The outwards shift continued until a second point of contact and possibly a third “slight contact”. MCGOWAN had been shifted out 4-5 horse widths wider on the track, which would have affected its momentum, he said. From approaching the 100 metres, both runners had straightened and appeared to have clear runs to the line. During the last 100 metres, CANOLI appeared to be comfortably holding its advantage, he said.

Mr Harris said the MCGOWAN was entitled to its line and the damage had been done prior to the last 100 metres. That runner had been “severely impeded”, he said.

Mr Murray said that at one point he was about to “roll past” the leader when he was bumped and, in a race over 1810 metres on an “off” track, it had cost his runner momentum. He agreed that he had been able to ride his mount out over the final 100 metres.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee had carefully viewed the video replays of the run up the home straight. CANOLI had clearly run out on the home turn and had continued to do so, taking runner-up MCGOWAN wider on the track and bumping it on two occasions with a third slight bump. The Committee finds that there had, clearly, been interference to MCGOWAN in terms of the rule. This was agreed by both parties and by Mr Oatham.

The task for the Committee was to determine whether, but for that interference, MCGOWAN would have finished ahead of CANOLI. The Committee was satisfied that interference did take place, but that was prior to the 100 metres, and that Mr Murray was able to ride his mount out fully to the finishing line from that point.

A number of other factors have been taken into account in dismissing the protest, not least of which is the margin of a clear ½ length at the finishing line, the ease with which CANOLI won the race and that MCGOWAN was not making any significant ground on the winner over the final 100-150 metres, the winner appearing to win quite comfortably.

Taking all of those matters into account, the Committee was not satisfied to the required standard that, had the interference not occurred, MCGOWAN would have beaten CANOLI.


The protest was dismissed. It was ordered that dividends and stakes be paid in accordance with the Judge’s official placings.

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