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08 Jan 2021
Nelson-Hrc - R5

Nelson HRC 8 January 2021 - R 5 - Chair, Mr S Ching

Created on 10 January 2021

SChing (chair)
Mr C DeFilippi - Open Driver
J Muirhead- Stipendiary Steward
Mr J Muirhead - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
failed to maintain straight course in the run home

Following the running of Race 5, the Dave & Jan Birdling Sports Trust Pace, an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr J Muirhead against Open Driver, Mr C DeFilippi, alleging a breach of Rule 869(4) in that when driving ROLLWITHIT he failed to maintain a straight course in the run home and as a result shifted outwards locking wheels with GREAT PRESENCE with the trailing HITTHEROADJACK and DOCTOR STEVE also being checked..

Rule 869(4)) reads as follows.
(4) No horseman shall during any race do anything which interferes or is likely to interfere with his own horse and/or any other horse or its progress.
Relevant Home Straight Regulation
7. Except where a driver is making a move pursuant to Rule 869(7) and subject to the preceding provisions of this regulation where applicable, every horse shall upon entering the home straight prior to the finish maintain as straight a course as possible to the finish line. 

Mr De Filippi had indicated on the Information that this breach of the Rules was admitted which he confirmed at the hearing. He also acknowledged that he understood the Rule he was being charged with.

Mr Muirhead gave evidence and used video coverage to show Mr DeFilippi, driving ROLLWITHIT, positioned in the trail of the leader just prior to the passing lane. He pointed out Mr DeFilippi, who he said, started to shift down into the passing lane but then shifts ground back out and in doing so locked wheels with GREAT PRESENCE, driven by Mr J Cox. Mr Muirhead said that as a result both horses lost their momentum and the two trailing runners, HITTHEROADJACK, driven by Mr B Hope and DOCTOR STEVE, driven by Mr R Anderson, were both checked in this incident.

Mr DeFilippi stated that ROLLWITHIT was running away from the pole on the near side and overreacted when he was attempting to shift ground.


As Mr DeFilippi had admitted the breach, the charge was therefore found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Muirhead informed the Committee that Mr DeFilippi’s record showed a recent 3-day suspension at Ashburton on 23 December 2020. He stated that the breach was mid-range with the consequences high due to the interference to the 3 other runners as well as his own horse. Mr Muirhead stated that Mr DeFilippi had admitted the breach at the first opportunity and submitted that a 2 to 3 day suspension be considered as penalty in this case.

Mr DeFilippi sought a deferment until after racing at Nelson 10 January as he had engagements at that meeting.

Reasons For Penalty:

The JCA Penalty Guide provides a starting point of a $300 fine or a 6-drive suspension for a mid-range breach of this Rule. The Committee also assessed this breach as mid-range with consequences, as noted above, in the high range. We determined that there were aggravating factors to consider, being the high consequences and record showing a recent breach in December. This we determined warranted an uplift in penalty. We assessed that Mr DeFilippi drove on average 3-4 drives per meeting. After consideration of all factors, we determined that a 3 day suspension was an appropriate penalty in this case.


Mr DeFilippi’s application for a deferment until after racing at Nelson on 10 January is granted.
Accordingly, Mr DeFilippi is suspended from the conclusion of racing 10 January up to and including 17 January 2021. Relevant meetings in this period of suspension are Ashburton on 12 January, Blenheim on 15 January and 17 January 2021.

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