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08 Jan 2019
Oamaru-Hrc - R 5

Oamaru HRC 8 January 2019 - R 5 (request for ruling) - Chair, Mr P Knowles

Created on 12 January 2019

Committee:
PKnowles (chair)
MConway
Stipendiary Steward(s):
Mr SP Renault - Stipendiary Steward
Name(s):
Mr B Laughton - Junior Horseman, Mr R Quirk - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number:
A11402
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 5, the Pick And Shovel Junior Drivers Trot, Mr Renault made a Request for a Ruling “to determine whether ZONED SCARLETT was denied a fair start.”

Rule 213(1) states:-

“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 Quirk used the available films of the pre-start formation and start of the race to highlight the incident while Mr Renault delivered his submission. The race was a 2600 metre standing start and all runners were handicapped off the front mark. ZONED SCARLETT (B Laughton) was drawn Unruly 1 which meant the horse was in the second row of runners. Ahead of her drawn 5 was ZEDDIE MARIT (M Hurrell) which, Mr Renault pointed out, was a couple of metres back from the barrier tape as the horses were called up for the start. ZEDDIE MARIT was shown to be fractious before the start. When the tape was released, ZEDDIE MARIT reared slightly and swung sideways to her right. This blocked the way forward for ZONED SCARLETT, who managed to take only a few steps before colliding with Mr Hurrell. ZONED SCARLETT lost considerable ground as a result of this incident, finishing some 56 lengths from the winner in 7th place.

Mr Renault said Stewards were seeking a Request for a Ruling “to determine whether ZONED SCARLETT was always going to get interfered with and never had a chance because of ZEDDIE MARIT playing up or whether the race was underway”.

The Chairman asked whether ZONED SCARLETT had started in the correct position for a horse drawn Unruly 1. Mr Renault said she was probably a little further down the track than she could have been but added that where Mr Laughton had positioned her was “within reason”.

Mr Renault said the key issue for Stewards was that ZEDDIE MARIT was fractious prior to the start and had begun to back away, however the interference to ZONED SCARLETT happened after the start.

Mr Laughton said ZEDDIE MARIT had swung directly sideways and stepped backwards as he tried to make room to move around it. Referring to the head-on film, he said, as the tape was released or just before, ZEDDIE MARIT was already starting to swing round. “I’ve stepped away in my right gait and just had nowhere to go”.

In response to a question from the Committee, Mr Renault identified two separate sideways movements from ZEDDIE MARIT. The first, before the start, put the horse on an angle but it was still facing forward. Mr Renault said the horse then paused as the start was effected, after which it swung sideways.

Reasons For Decision:

ZONED SCARLETT drawn Unruly 1 and Mr Laughton positioned her a little further down the track than he otherwise might have in order to give space to other unruly runners. The Committee agrees with Mr Renault that where ZONED SCARLETT was positioned for the start was acceptable. ZEDDIE MARIT was fractious prior to the start and made a slight swing to the right before the tape was released. However the horse paused and, though on a slight angle, was still facing forward as the tape was released. The Committee is satisfied the more dramatic sideways swing that resulted in the interference to ZONED SCARLETT happened after the start of the race. 

Decision(s):

The Committee sympathises with Mr Laughton but there is no clear evidence of ZONED SCARLETT being interfered with prior to the start. ZONED SCARLETT is therefore declared a starter.

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