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26 Jun 2020
Nz-Metro-Tc - R1

NZ Metro TC 26 June 2020 - R 1 (Instigating a Protest) Chair, Mr S Ching

Created on 29 June 2020

Rules:
869A (2)
Committee:
SChing (chair)
Respondent(s):
B Orange-Open Horseman
Informant:
B Ward-Licensed Trainer
M Williamson-Open Horseman
Information Number:
A13258
Horse Name:
DELIGHTFUL GNP
Persons present:
N Ydgren-Chief Stipendiary Steward
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 1, the First For Ford at Avon City Ford Mobile Pace, an Information instigating a protest was filed by Trainer Mr B Ward and Driver Mr M Williamson, alleging interference over the final stages by 1st placed DELIGHTFUL GNP, driven by Mr B Orange to 2nd placed, ALREADY GONE, driven by Mr M Williamson.

The Judge's placings in this race were as follows.

1st DELIGHTFUL GNP (5)
2nd ALREADY GONE (2)
3rd DISTINGUISHED TASTE (3)
4th HOT STARFF (8)
5th ULTIMATE ROCKER (7)
6th WHERES DADDY (6)

The official margins between 1st and second was a long head.

Rule 869A(2) provides as follows:

(2) When a placed horse or its driver causes interference to another placed horse and the Judicial Committee is satisfied that the horse interfered with would have finished ahead of that horse that, or whose driver, caused the interference the Judicial Committee must, in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed, place the horse that, or whose driver, caused the interference immediately after the horse interfered with.

Submissions For Decision:

Mr Ward gave evidence and showed the relevant films of the alleged interference. He pointed out DELIGHTFUL GNP, driven by Mr Orange, in the trail position behind the leader as the field turned for home with, ALREADY GONE, driven by Mr Williamson, in his trail. Mr Ward showed on the films that DELIGHTFUL GNP shifted down into the passing lane as entitled, with ALREADY GONE looking to improve inside DELIGHTFUL GNP. He showed on the head on films that there was room for ALREADY GONE to improve in the passing lane inside DELIGHTFUL GNP for the entire straight until just before the winning post where DELIGHTFUL GNP shifted down into the racing room of ALREADY GONE, causing the wheels to lock, preventing ALREADY GONE from improving past and winning the race. Mr Ward pointed out on the film that ALREADY GONE was prevented from improving from near the last pylon which is approximately 13.9 metres from the winning post. Mr Williamson stated that where the interference occurred, just metres from the post, it was “hard to say” whether ALREADY GONE would have got up to beat DELIGHTFUL GNP but for the interference.

Mr Orange stated that his horse maintained a straight line in the home straight and only moved in marginally just before the winning post. He said it was up to Mr Williamson to steer his horse so that he did not lock wheels when improving from behind his horse. He added that there was ample room for Mr Williamson at that point in the race for him to steer his horse, so he did not make contact and lock wheels.

Mr Ydgren, as officiating Stipendiary Steward, gave his interpretation of the incident and stated that although Mr Orange was required to maintain a straight course in the final straight, and that there was minimal movement inwards from DELIGHTFUL GNP, the relative closeness to the winning post where the interference occurred was a factor that needed to be considered in the decision.

Reasons For Decision:

We carefully considered the evidence presented and the video coverage of the incident. The Committee was satisfied that DELIGHTFUL GNP was in the trail of the lead horse as the field turned for home with ALREADY GONE, trailing that horse. DELIGHTFUL GNP shifted down into the passing lane, as he was entitled, with ALREADY GONE, looking for clear running on his inside. We were satisfied that there was ample room for ALREADY GONE to improve on the inside of DELIGHTFUL GNP over the final straight. We were also satisfied that there was movement inwards close to the winning post by DELIGHTFUL GNP but this was minimal. We found that interference had occurred but was in our assessment only 2 strides from the winning post and in conjunction with the margin of a long head, we were not satisfied that ALREADY GONE, but for the alleged interference by DELIGHTFUL GNP, ALREADY GONE would have beaten DELIGHTFUL GNP to the finish.

We therefore determined that the protest be dismissed.

Decision:

Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.

It was ordered that dividends and stakes be paid in accordance with the official Judge’s placings.

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