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NZ Metro TC 25 October 2019 - R 4 - (request for a ruling) - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 29 October 2019

RMcKenzie (chair)
Stipendiary Steward(s):
N M Ydgren, Chief Stipendiary Steward
Mr N M Ydgren, Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr M Purdon, Licensed Open Horseman, Mr P C Lamb - Starter
Information Number:

Following the running of Race 4, The Crossing Supporting the Fashion Competition Cup Week Mobile Pace, an information requesting a ruling was filed by Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr N M Ydgren, as to whether DREAM OF GLORY (M Purdon), placed 3rd by the judge, was denied a fair start.

Mr M Purdon, driver and part-owner of DREAM OF GLORY, was present at the hearing of the information.

Rule 213 provides as follows:

(1) A Stipendiary Steward at any time may scratch from a race or declare ineligible to start in a race until a specific condition is met any  horse on all or any of the following grounds:

(j) if a horse was denied a fair start and such occurrence materially prejudiced the chances of that horse.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Ydgren showed a video replay of the start of the race, a 1980 metres mobile start event for Non-Win MR49-MR50 pacers. He pointed out DREAM OF GLORY, driven by Mr Purdon, drawn barrier position 4, with WALK ALL OVER YOU (J Herbert), drawn immediately inside it, in barrier position 3.

Mr Ydgren then pointed out that, prior to the start, DREAM OF GLORY was almost in position when WALK ALL OVER YOU galloped and shifted out abruptly onto it, contacting its wheel. This resulted in DREAM OF GLORY being just over one length out of position when the start was declared, he said.

Mr Purdon told the Committee that the inside horse had broken and ran out onto him, causing him to lose his position. His horse had stayed in its gait but he was unable to catch the mobile gate. He was about a length behind the gate when it left, he said.

Mr Ydgren said that Mr Purdon had told the Stewards that he might have wished to settle closer to the pace. Although he had to race without cover for the first 600 metres, Mr Purdon said, he got “a reasonable enough run afterwards”. However, Mr Purdon said that he had expected a false start to be declared.

The starter, Mr P C Lamb, told the hearing that he had seen the incident, involving the two runners, prior to the start. He noted that the inside horse had run out onto Mr Purdon’s runner. It had affected that runner, but it had not broken stride, he said. The speed of the gate was held and, at the point of despatch, the horse had momentum and was coming back into its position. He did not deem that declaring a false start was warranted. 

Reasons For Decision:

The Rule requires that two elements need to be established before a horse can be declared a late scratching – firstly, that the horse has been denied a fair start and, secondly, that having been denied a fair start, its chances were materially prejudiced. However, each of those elements cannot be considered in isolation but, rather, should be looked at together.

It was apparent that DREAM OF GLORY was hampered by the breaking runner on its inside, WALK ALL OVER YOU, and lost some ground as the mobile gate approached the starting point, but it was able to remain pacing and quickly make up much of the lost ground to the extent that, when the start was declared, it was only one length back and had momentum. Within the first 100 metres, DREAM OF GLORY was able to settle in the open in 4th position. Aside from racing in the open for the first 600 metres of the race, thereafter it had a fair run and finished in 3rd placing, 2¾ lengths and a ½ neck from the winner.

The Committee is satisfied, after viewing the video replay and hearing from Messrs Ydgren and Purdon, that DREAM OF GLORY, although hampered to some degree prior to the start, was not denied a fair start. Furthermore, the Committee was equally satisfied that its chances in the race were not “materially prejudiced”. In this context, we take “materially prejudiced” to mean “in a significant way, considerably”.

Of course, it is impossible to determine how the race would have unfolded for DREAM OF GLORY had the pre-start incident not occurred. However, notwithstanding, the horse was able to settle in the first four and enjoy a reasonable run in the race thereafter, as evidenced by the fact that it was able to finish in 3rd placing, and appearing to have every chance. The Committee is satisfied that the chances of DREAM OF GLORY were not materially prejudiced.


The Committee ruled that DREAM OF GLORY was a starter in the race.

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