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NZ Metro TC 6 September 2020 - R 5 - Chair, Mr R McKenzie

Created on 07 September 2020

Rules:
869(3)(b)
Committee:
RMcKenzie (chair)
Name(s):
K A Butt
Licensed Open Driver
Informant
S P Renault
Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A13206
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Careless Driving
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 5, IRT. World Leaders in Equine Airfreight Mobile Pace, an information was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Mr S P Renault, against Licensed Open Driver, Ms K A Butt, alleging that, as the driver of MIGHTY REACTOR in the race, she drove carelessly near the 100 metres in that she “shifted inwards when not clear of SPICY GIRL BECQUI (M J Williamson) which was checked and taken inwards onto FOUR STARZZZ SHIRAZ (J J A Young-Grant), which was also checked”.

Ms Butt had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the information form indicating that she admitted the breach and she confirmed this at the hearing, at which she was present.

Rule 869 provides as follows:

(3 No driver shall in any race drive:-

    (b) carelessly

Mr Renault showed side on and head-on video replays of the incident near the 100 metres in the final straight.

He pointed out the runners as the field turned into the home straight. Mr Williamson was leading the field on SPICY GIRL BECQUI, Mrs Young-Grant was trailing with FOUR STARZZZ SHIRAZ, and Ms Butt was racing was racing three places back on the markers, following that runner. Into the straight, Ms Butt angled out looking for a run but was held up by the runner in front, MALINKA (T J Walsh). Ms Butt then looked for a run to the inside of MALINKA and, in doing so, she contacted Mr Williamson’s sulky. Mr Williamson, in turn, placed pressure on Mrs Young-Grant on his inside, causing her horse to break.

Mr Renault said that Stewards were alleging that Ms Butt had been careless in, being held up, she angled her horse inwards causing checks to the two inside runners. Ms Butt had told Stewards that she was having difficulty with her horse. It had overraced on the bend, she had urged it on and then taken a hold of it, but it “became awkward” on the back of MALINKA, Mr Renault said. She had attempted to go into a “half gap” to the inside of MALINKA. Stewards were alleging that Ms Butt was careless in doing so and causing interference to the two inside runners.

Ms Butt agreed with Mr Renault that she made the wrong decision in attempting a run between MALINKA and SPICY GIRL BECQUI. She explained that her horse is erratic and, in the past, has galloped when behind horses. The horse was coming into the gap quite fast. She had been in line with Mr Walsh’s wheel and had to decide between Mr Walsh’s wheel and the half gap. In attempting to avoid Mr Walsh’s wheel, she had ended up in the half gap, she said.

Decision:

Ms Butt having admitted the breach, the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Renault said that Ms Butt’s last careless driving charge had been on 22 February 2020 – outside the reset period – so her record was clear. She has had 13 drives this season before today and, last season, she had 191 drives. Stewards estimated that Ms Butt had approximately 3 drives per meeting.

An aggravating factor was that two runners were checked. Mitigating factors were her admission of the breach and her clear record, Mr Renault submitted. In addition, Ms Butt was having some difficulty with her horse.

Stewards were seeking a 3-4 days suspension, Mr Renault said.

Ms Butt said that she accepted the Stewards estimating her drives at 3 per meeting. She also accepted that she had been careless in causing interference to the two runners. She added that her own horse did gallop for a couple of strides. She asked the Committee to consider that she was not trying to gain any advantage in attempting to take the gap but, rather, she took it to avoid trouble.

Mr Renault, when asked by the Committee, said that Ms Butt would probably have finished in 4th placing in any event, had she waited. He did not believe that the two runners checked had had their chances of finishing in a higher placing affected.

Ms Butt sought a 7-days deferment of suspension.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee noted the Penalty Guide starting point of a 10-drives suspension. Taking that starting point and factoring in the aggravating factor referred to by Mr Renault and the mitigating factors (admission of breach, clear record and contribution of the horse) the Committee decided that, based on the agreed 3 drives per meeting, a 3-days suspension was the appropriate penalty.

Penalty:

Ms Butt’s application for a deferment of suspension is granted. Thus, her Open Driver’s licence is suspended from after the conclusion of racing on 13 September 2020 up to and including 25 September 2020 – 3 days. The meetings intended to be encompassed by the period of suspension are NZ Metropolitan TC on 17 September, Oamaru HRC on 20 September and NZ Metropolitan TC on 25 September.

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