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Otago RC 1 February 2020 - R 1 & R 6 - Chair, Prof G Hall

Created on 04 February 2020

GHall (chair)
Mr D Turner - Class A Jockey
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Mr M Davidson - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Failing to make weight

Mr Davidson alleged that Mr Turner failed to make the contract weight for LUCANO’S ACE (race 1) and ZENTESSA (race 6), both of which had 55 kg.

Rule 330(3)(c) provides: “A Rider shall not fail to ride a horse at the weight at which it is handicapped to carry.”

Mr Davidson stated that prior to race 1 Mr Turner had come to the Stewards and had said he was struggling to make the weight for the 2 horses he was to ride at 55 kg. A suitable replacement jockey had been found for race 1; no jockey had yet been carded for race 6.

Mr Oatham said that because of the regularity with which the respondent had weight issues he had agreed with the Stewards he would not take rides at less than 56 kg. He had been granted a dispensation after he had approached the Stewards seeking permission to take these 2 rides today.

Mr Turner said that he had had weight issues but believed he would be able to ride at 55 kg and that was why he had accepted the 2 rides. He said he had been in the bath since 3 o’clock this morning. He had lost 0.4 kg but could not lose any more.


Mr Turner has admitted the breach. We thus find the breach is proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Davidson produced the respondent’s record. Mr Davidson said Mr Turner was a serial offender. This was Mr Turner’s 10th breach in 12 months. With respect to the last 3 breaches, Mr Turner had been suspended for 8 days in September, 10 days in November and 5 days together with a $500 fine in December last.

Mr Davidson stated that one of the races, the Dunedin Gold Cup, was a listed race. He also noted the dilemma that if the respondent was suspended for too long a period his weight issues would only get worse.

Mr Turner agreed with Mr Davidson’s comment about not being away from riding for too long and said he had tried his best to lose the weight but “it is what it is”. He asked for a deferment until after 7 February as he had riding commitments at Palmerston North.

Reasons For Penalty:

Mr Turner has failed to make his carded weight for two horses. We accept he has made an attempt to get to 55 kg but has been unable to do so. He unfortunately has a lengthy record under this rule.

We believe a combination of a suspension and a fine is appropriate. There is a need to hold Mr Turner accountable. His actions have inconvenienced the connections of the 2 horses and those members of the public who are wanting to place a wager on them. We agree a lengthy suspension is likely to aggravate his weight issues.


Mr Turner is suspended for 6 days from the end of racing on 7 February up to and including 16 February 2020. He is also fined the sum of $700 and is reminded of his professional obligations. He confirmed his agreement with the Stewards not to accept rides at less than 56 kg.

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