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29 Oct 2019
Manawatu-Hrc - R1

Manawatu HRC 29 October 2019 - R1 - Chair, Mr T Utikere

Created on 30 October 2019

TUtikere (chair)
Miss A Harrison - Junior Driver
Mr T Mitchell - Assisting Miss Harrison
Mr S Mulcay - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Drove in manner which diminished chances

Following the running of Race 1 (Central Energy Trust Handicap Trot 2500m), Information A10274 was filed with the Judicial Committee. It alleged a breach of Rule 869(3)(g) and stated that "...she drove in a manner which diminished the chances of her mare winning by miscounting the rounds racing through the front straight to receive the bell".

Miss Harrison confirmed she understood the rule and admitted the breach.

Using the side on film, Mr Mulcay explained that Miss Harrison (SUNDONS FLYER) was in the one-one position, following Mr D Butcher outside the leader. As the field approached the 1100 metres, Mr Butcher had urged his drive along, seeking to go to the front. Miss Harrison had come off his back, used her whip to strike the mare and activated the deafeners. He submitted it was clear that she had miscounted the rounds and the basis for the charge was that the efforts of the mare had a diminished effect for the remainder of the race. He also identified that SUNDONS FLYER had finished third, being 4.9 lengths off the winner, and 4.5 lengths in arrears of second place.

When invited for comments on the incident, Miss Harrison said that she had simply panicked. Mr Mitchell had nothing to say.


Miss Harrison has admitted the breach.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Mulcay identifed the JCA Penalty Guidelines starting point for this offence as a 15 drives suspension or a $750 fine. He said that to Miss Harrison's credit she had been frank with her admission, had a clear record under the rule and that the horse still ran into third position. In aggravation he submitted that punters had invested on the runner as it started favourite, and that they were at a disadvantage as a result. He submitted a four day period of suspension as appropriate, bearing in mind her employer was likely to have a sizeable team at the upcoming Cambridge Meetings.

Miss Harrison said that she had driven on approximately 350 ocassions, and Mr Mulcay confirmed that she had 32 drives this season. She had only been in the judicial room on one previous ocassion and was happy with a four day suspension, as she believed this to be a fair penalty. Mr Mitchell had nothing to say.

Reasons For Penalty:

Any suggestion that Miss Harrison failed to miscount the rounds is dispelled when the side-on film is viewed. It shows her lapse in a compelling fashion. While she is a junior driver, she nonetheless has adequate experience to not make such a fundamental error. Both parties submit a four day suspension as appropriate. Her clear record and admission must be balanced with the fact that her actions meant that it was possible that SUNDONS FLYER may have finsihed in a better position if it had not been spent with another round to go. Miss Harrison has had five drives at this meeting and would have a similar amount on the second night as well.  When looking at her commitments for the next three to four Meetings, I consider a four Meeting suspension as appropriate. Those Meetings will be the second day at Manawatu, followed by Auckland then the two Cambridge Meetings.


Miss Harrison's licence is suspended from the close of racing on 29 October until the close of racing on 8 November 2019.

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