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Otago RC 1 February 2020 - R 7 - Chair, Prof G Hall

Created on 04 February 2020

GHall (chair)
Mr W Papier - Apprentice Jockey
Mr M Pitman - Licensed Trainer assisting Mr Papier
Mr D Walsh - Apprentice Jockey Mentor
Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward
Mr M Davidson - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless riding

Mr Davidson alleged that in race 7 Mr Papier permitted his mount TURNCOAT to shift inwards near the 250 metres when not sufficiently clear of MORWEKA which was crowded and forced inwards across the heels of EXEMPLAR, then continuing to shift inwards crowding EXEMPLAR over the final stages.

Mr Oatham demonstrated on the films that Mr Papier was racing 3 out. Ms Comignaghi was attempting a run to the inside of Mr Chowdhoory on EXEMPLAR. He said there were in essence 2 incidents that formed the basis of the charge. Initially there was a run for Ms Comignaghi on the rail, but the horses were shifting in and the run was disappearing. Mr Papier shifted in and the side-on film showed that MORWEKA was hindered on the first occasion and with respect to the second, the head-on showed EXEMPLAR was forced inwards and Ms Comignaghi had taken hold of JOHNNY JONES.

Mr Oatham commented that TURNCOAT was not the easiest of rides for a relatively inexperienced jockey on his first day back riding.

Mr Pitman agreed that TURNCOAT was not the easiest horse to ride, but Mr Papier rode the horse in trackwork and gets on with it, hence why he had the ride. The horse had been difficult to ride in the past. The horse had laid in and Mr Papier had attempted to straighten it while riding it out. He accepted Mr Papier could have stopped riding and straightened the horse, but he wanted to win. With respect to Ms Comignaghi, he said there was no run there; it had not developed and did not look like developing. He demonstrated on the films that Mr Papier had turned TURNCOAT’s head sideways in an effort to get off the horse to his inside.

Mr Walsh spoke commenting that the back-on film showed there was minimal interference to MORWEKA in the first incident. The second one was clear in that TURNCOAT had moved in several horse widths. He pointed out the rail was crooked at this point which did not help.

Mr Davidson replied that Mr Walsh was possibly right but there was a clear obligation upon Mr Papier to straighten his mount.


As Mr Papier has admitted the breach, it is found to be proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Davidson again produced the respondent’s record. He said the breach was mid-range. TURNCOAT had gone on to win the race. The connections of the third horse had contemplated a protest but had ultimately decided against this having regard to the margins.

Mr Pitman asked us to take into account the respondent’s record and his admission of the breach. He believed that Mr Papier was the victim of circumstances and that the Stewards’ mid-range assessment was “a bit steep”.

Reasons For Penalty:

We believe that the breach is mid-range. Mr Papier’s obligation under the Rules is to keep straight. He did not. Mr Papier has crowded the horses to his inside on two occasions, with the second being the more significant. We agree there was never a clear run for Ms Comignaghi on the rail but the difficulties in which she found herself were exacerbated by Mr Papier shifting in and forcing the horses to his inside closer to the running rail.

Taking into account that TURNCOAT is a difficult horse to ride, the starting point is 8 national days, which is the bottom end of mid-range. We again give a 1 day’s credit for Mr Papier’s record and a further day for his admission of the breach.


Mr Papier’s licence is suspended for 6 days. This is from 17 February up to and including 26 February 2020.

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