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Manawatu RC 21 December 2013 - R7

Created on 27 December 2013

NMoffatt (chair)
Mr P Turner - Licensed Apprentice Rider
Mr M Breslin - Trainer assisting Mr Turner
Mr L Innes - Licensed Jockey
Mr G Whiterod - Stipendiary Steward
Mr R Neal - Co Chief Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of Race 7 the Harcourts Premier 1600, an information was lodged by Mr R Neal alleging a breach of Rule 638(1) (d). The information alleged that near the 200m P Turner (BRAD THORN) permitted his mount to shift out when not clear of MADONNA MIA which was tightened and lost its line of running.

Mr Neal read out the careless riding rule and Mr Turner acknowledged he understood the nature of the charge. He also confirmed to the committee that he did not admit the breach. Mr Breslin, the trainer of BRAD THORN, assisted Mr Turner.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Neal said passing the 200m Mr Turner was travelling well and angled BRAD THORN out to improve however, in doing so, he caused crowding to MADONNA MIA ridden by Mr Innes. Mr Whiterod showed the incident on the videos. He identified Mr Turner racing in a position just in behind the leading horses with Mr Innes on MADONNA MIA to his outside. Mr Turner angled outwards when not the required distance clear, taking the line of Mr Innes who was forced to restrain his mount. Mr Turner went on to win the race.

Mr Neal called Mr Innes as a witness. Mr Innes told the committee that he was waiting for a run and expected BRAD THORN, who was being ridden with the whip, to drop backwards however that didn’t happen. Mr Turner then crossed in front of him when only one length clear. As a result he had no option but to take a hold of his horse. Mr Turner and Mr Breslin did not contest Mr Innes’ evidence.

Mr Turner said MADONNA MIA was a length behind him when he angled out and there was no calling from Mr Innes to indicate he had taken his line of running. Mr Turner said the fact that Mr Innes restrained his mount made the situation look worse than it was. Mr Breslin said Mr Turner should not be facing a careless riding charge. Firstly not one of the video angles (front, back or side) could accurately depict the distance between Mr Turner’s horse and Mr Innes’ horse at the time of the alleged incident. Secondly, while accepting that Mr Turner shifted outwards and caused some interference to Mr Innes, Mr Breslin said BRAD THORN was a very green horse and field-shy. He said Mr Turner was having his first ride on the horse and should be given the benefit of the doubt. The horse was to blame, not the rider.

Reasons For Decision:

The committee had careful regard to all of the submissions and considered the films at length. Mr Turner clearly moved outwards and caused interference to Mr Innes on MADONNA MIA. This was accepted by both parties however Mr Breslin was firm in his belief that the racing manners of BRAD THORN were to blame rather than any action by the rider. The rear view video was helpful, not only in assessing the degree of outward movement by BRAD THORN but also, in showing  that Mr Turner continued to ride forward with vigour, without making any attempt to straighten his mount.

Mr Breslin was correct in saying the films were not helpful in assessing exactly how far in front Mr Turner was when he dictated Mr Innes’ line however Mr Innes stated it was only a length. We accepted his evidence. In our view the charge of careless riding was proved.


The committee accordingly found the charge of careless riding proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Neal and Mr Turner were invited to make submissions on penalty.

Mr Neal produced Mr Turner’s riding record which showed the following careless riding breaches:

11/11/13 - 5 days suspension

10/8/13 - 5 days

16/6/13 - 4 days

Mr Neal described this as a reasonable record for a senior apprentice. The stewards deemed the interference to be towards the lower end and submitted that a period of suspension commensurate with this would be an appropriate penalty. Mr Neal said Mr Turner could be considered a North Island rider as he rode in the Central Districts and in the Northern regions only.

In response Mr Turner said that while he did take the gap in front of Mr Innes he thought that Mr Innes was not travelling well enough to be there himself. He asked the committee to take into consideration the greenness of BRAD THORN and advised of riding commitments on Boxing Day.

Reasons For Penalty:

After considering all of the submissions the committee was of the opinion that a period of suspension was an appropriate penalty. In setting the length of suspension we adopted a starting point of 5 days and applied aggravating and mitigating factors relevant to the charge.

Firstly we considered the degree of carelessness and in our opinion this was below mid-range. Mr Turner did not barge his way out of a tight position but rather he angled outwards on a horse travelling well, to give it every opportunity to win the race. Due to the greenness of BRAD THORN it moved out more than he had intended and as a result Mr Innes received a reasonable check. Mr Turner was unaware that he had taken the line of Mr Innes therefore he did not take any corrective action. We did not consider Mr Turner’s riding record to be either a mitigating or aggravating factor.


Taking in to account all of the above we imposed a four day suspension. Mr Turner is considered to ride only in the North Island, therefore he is suspended from the close of racing on Thursday December 26th up to and including racing on Tuesday December 31st. These days are:

27/12/13 - Rotorua/Taranaki

28/12/13 - Auckland

30/12/13 - Taupo

31/12/13 - Stratford

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