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Marton JC 5 January 2019 - R 4 - Chair, Mr N McCutcheon

Created on 06 January 2019

NMcCutcheon (chair)
Mr L Innes - Licensed Jockey rider of IFFINDOUBT
Mr M Singh - Licensed Apprentice Jockey rider of MISS CONTESSA (witness)
Ms K Clapperon - Assisting Mr Singh
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of Race 4 (Farmlands Marton Congratulates Evan Dix on Turning 100), Information No. A12267 was filed with the Judicial Committee. The Informant alleged that Mr Innes allowed his mount IFFINDOUBT to shift inwards when not sufficiently clear forcing MISS CONTESSA inwards across the heels of MCPHOEBE near the 250m.

Rule 638(1)(d) provides:
A rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Judicial Committee considers to be:
(d) careless

Mr Innes said that he understood the Rule, Charge and confirmed that he did not admit the breach.

The course that the hearing would take and a Defendant’s rights were explained to Mr Innes by the Committee.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Goodwin had Mr Oatham show all film replays and asked him to place his interpretation on the alleged incident.

Mr Oatham identified the runners as MCPHOEBE in front on the fence to its outside was IFFINDOUBT with MISS CONTESSA racing in the trail. He said that IFFINDOUBT did swing a little wide making the bend and as they straightened up there was a gap to the inside of IFFINDOUBT. He said that there was ample room for MISS CONTESSA to improve into. He said that MISS CONTESSA had established itself in the gap and that Mr Innes then rode back inwards. This pushed MISS CONTESSA (M Singh) back in across the heels of MCPHOEBE. He said that you could see Mr Innes’ left rein being pulled inwards. He added that Mr Innes did straighten his mount after the incident had happened. He added that MCPHOEBE may have shifted a little but that it was only marginal. Mr Oatham concluded by saying that MISS CONTESSA was accidently struck with the whip of S McKay the rider of MCPHOEBE.

Mr Innes did not have questions of Mr Oatham.

Mr Goodwin called Mr Singh as a witness for the RIU.

Mr Singh said that he had been in the trail and that a gap appeared ahead of him and there was room for him to improve. He said that when he got into the gap he was pushed across heels by the outside horse and ran out of room. He said that contact was made. He added that he was a head to a neck behind Mr Innes when he was pushed back in.

Mr Innes put it to Mr Singh that before they actually straightened that his mount MISS CONTESSA had shifted out and bumped his horse. Mr Innes showed the film a number of times to Mr Singh; however Mr Singh was adamant that he had not shifted out onto Mr Innes’ mount IFFINDOUBT.

Reasons For Decision:

At this stage of proceedings Mr Innes said that in light of the evidence he sought leave to change his plea to one of “Admitted the breach”.

This was agreed to by the Committee with the Information amended and signed accordingly by Mr Innes.


Due to the breach being admitted it was deemed to be proved by the Committee.

Submission For Penalty:

The record showed that Mr Innes had breached the careless riding rule on 3 occasions during the past 12 months with the most recent being on 3 November 2018 when a 5-day suspension was imposed for low-range carelessness. Mr Goodwin placed the carelessness in the mid to low-range and submitted that a term of suspension would be appropriate.

Mr Innes for his part said that he had admitted the breach but MCPHOEBE had rolled out and made it look worse. He said that horses do tend to roll out on this track with Mr Goodwin agreeing with this comment. He said that his horse did become unbalanced and that he thought that he was entitled to go back in. He said that Mr Singh is an inexperienced Apprentice and that when he was in the gap he should have ridden more urgently forward. Mr Innes said that he believed that he was careless for one stride only and asked that any suspension be deferred until after racing on 12 January.

Mr Innes then advised the Committee that he had to leave the course at 4.10pm in order to catch a flight. The Committee therefore agreed to deliver the penalty in his absence and that the RIU would relay same to him.

Mr Innes made a final submission (via text message) on the way to the airport. He asked the Committee to consider imposing a 5-day suspension and a fine to enable him to ride on Wellington Cup Day.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee was satisfied that MISS CONTESSA had established a run between IFFINDOUBT and MCPHOEBE in the run home subsequent to IFFINDOUBT rolling out on the bend. At about the 250m marker Mr Innes was observed to direct his mount inwards when not clear of MISS CONTESSA, this resulted in MISS CONTESSA being pushed inwards across the heels of MCPHOEBE who was the lead horse racing against the running rail. There may have been marginal movement by MCPHOEBE but the Committee was satisfied that the interference that occurred was caused by IFFINDOUBT’s inward movement.

The Committee independently placed the carelessness in the mid-range category. Taking all matters relevant to penalty into consideration i.e. admitted breach, degree of carelessness, record and penalty guideline the Committee determined that a 7-riding day suspension was a suitable end result.


Mr Innes’ Jockey’s Licence was suspended from the end of racing on 12 January up to the close of racing on 21 January 2019. This term of suspension included one Premier day on 19 January 2019.

Subsequent to the penalty being relayed to Mr Innes he contacted Mr Oatham requesting that the Committee consider changing the dates of the suspension to commence immediately as he did not have any riding engagements in the next few days. He said that he had been in discussion with Mr Lindsay whom he is contracted to ride for and that Mr Lindsay wanted him to ride on Wellington Cup Day on 19 January. Due to their being no objection to Mr Innes request his Jockey’s Licence was suspended by the Judicial Committee from the close of racing on 5 January up to the cessation of racing on 18 January 2019. The term of 7 riding-days suspension includes a Premier day on 12 January.

(Race meetings at Greymouth and Otaki were not included as declaration of riders had closed).

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