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Matamata RC 24 February 2018 - R 6 - Chair, Mr N McCutcheon

Created on 27 February 2018

NMcCutcheon (chair)
Mr V Colgan - Rider of SPANISH WHISPER
Mr B Jones - Stipendiary Steward
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of Race 6 (J Swap Contractors Ltd Matamata Breeders Stakes) (Group II), Information No. A10363 was filed with the Judicial Committee. It alleged that Mr Colgan allows his mount SPANISH WHISPER to shift in when not sufficiently clear of LADY LIRA which was crowded onto AUTUMN WILD who was crowded inwards into the line of SPRING BLOSSOM which was checked. The incident took place near the 900m.

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 Colgan said that he understood the Rule, the Charge and confirmed that he admitted the breach.

Mr Jones showed all relevant film replays of the incident and identified all horses involved. Mr Jones said that Mr Colgan allowed his mount to shift in when only a bare length clear and that that resulted in LADY LIRA being crowded onto AUTUMN WILD who was forced into the line of SPRING BLOSSOM who was checked. He said that SPRING BLOSSOM lost 2-3 lengths.

Mr Colgan in reply said that he had let his horse roll in half a horse-width at the most and that caused a chain reaction. He said that he did not want it to happen “but it did”.


As Mr Colgan admitted the breach it was found to be proved by the Committee.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williamson said that Mr Colgan’s record showed that he had had four breaches of the Rule in the past 12 months, with the most recent being on 27 December 2017. He placed the carelessness in the lower to mid-range category and placed the consequences at the same level. He asked the Committee to take into account that it was a Group II Race.

Mr Colgan had nothing to say regarding penalty except that he wanted any suspension to start after 3 March.

Reasons For Penalty:

Near the 900m Mr Colgan allowed SPANISH WHISPER to shift in when not the required 2 lengths clear. As a consequence of the shift three horses suffered varying degrees of interference, with SPRING BLOSSOM racing adjacent to the running rail being the worst affected when being checked and forced out of its rightful position. SPRING BLOSSOM lost 2-3 lengths.

Whilst the shift by Mr Colgan was not major the resultant interference was significant. The Committee placed the carelessness displayed by Mr Colgan in the mid-range category. In fixing penalty the Committee took into account the degree of carelessness, the consequences of the carelessness, past record, that it was a Group II Race and that SPANISH WHISPER went on to win the event.

The starting point for mid-range carelessness is a suspension of 8 Days. Due to the circumstances alluded to, this was increased to 9 Days, with a discount of 1 Day given for the admission of the breach. In addition a fine was considered appropriate.


Mr Colgan’s Jockeys Licence was suspended from the end of racing on 3 March up to and including racing on 16 March 2018. In addition a fine of $750 was imposed.

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