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NZ Metro TC 21 June 2020 - R 8 - Chair, Mr D Anderson

Created on 22 June 2020

DAnderson (chair)
Mr S Thornley - Junior Driver
Mr R Close - Open Driver assisting Mr Thornley
Mr N Ydgren - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Mr P Williams - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Breach of Rule 869(4)(6)(b)(c) - the push out rule

Following the running of Race 8 an Information was filed by Stipendiary Steward Mr P Williams alleging a breach of Rule 869 (4)(6)(b)(c) by Junior Driver Mr S Thornley. The Information stated “you shifted outwards near the 1250m causing POCKET CALL to be taken wider on the track”.

Mr Thornley had signed the Information admitting the breach and stated he had a clear understanding of the push out rule.

Rule 869(4)(6)(b)(c) 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.

(6) “Subject to sub-rule (4) hereof: -

(b) A horse making a forward movement during any race shall not be forced to race wider on the track;

(c) A horse during a race shall not move ground outwards once the nose of the wider runner coming forward is in line with or past its sulky wheel and until the wider runner going forward is fully past.”

Mr Williams used the race video to identify Mr Thornley driving LOISSONYA racing 5 back on the inside at approximately the 1300 metres. He said at this stage Mr Zampese (SWEENEY TODD) had moved out 3 wide from the outside of Mr Thornley. Mr Williams pointed to Mr Thornley hesitate for a second or two and then move his horse outwards. At this juncture Mr Dobbs (POCKET CALL) had moved forward to be, at worst, on Mr Thornley’s wheel. Mr Williams said what unfolded was a clear breach of the push out rule.

Mr Williams said Mr Dobbs was interviewed and he stated he had yelled to Mr Thornley and the manoeuvre had cost him a chance of finishing closer in the race than he had.

Mr Thornley said when he had looked before he shifted ground, he thought Mr Dobbs was restraining his horse but conceded the film tells the story. He said he didn’t hear Mr Dobbs yell out.

Mr Close said there was nothing to add and it is what it is.


As Mr Thornley admitted the breach the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williams stated Mr Thornley had a clear record in relation to the rule and admitted the breach at the first opportunity. He stated Mr Thornley has had 32 drives lifetime, all in the current season.

He said given the mitigating factors in this case he felt Mr Thornley deserved some credit and the Stewards would seek a fine in the $150 to $200 range.

Mr Thornley made no submissions but Mr Close contended a fine of between $100 and $150, agreeable.

Reasons For Penalty:

The JCA Penalty Guide provides a starting point for a breach of this rule of a 5-drive suspension, or a fine of $250. This Committee determined that a fine is an appropriate penalty in this case.

There are no aggravating factors to consider.

In mitigation, Mr Thornley’s good record, his status as a Junior Driver, his professional attitude in this, his first hearing and frank admission, the Committee considers a fine of $150 as an appropriate penalty in this case.


Accordingly, Mr Thornley is fined $150.

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