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R Te Aroha 17 February 2021 - R 11 (instigating a protest) - Chair, Hon JW Gendall

Created on 18 February 2021

Rules:
642(1)
Committee:
WGendall (chair)
Respondent(s):
Mr C Grylls - Rider of TRA CEE ANN
Informant:
Mr O Bosson - Rider of LIGHTNING FIELD
Information Number:
A14021
Horse Name:
TRA CEE ANN
Persons present:
Mr B Jones - Stipendiary Steward
Connections of TRA CEE ANN
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 11, the Silver Fern farms Te Aroha/Waitoa 1200, Mr O Bosson the Rider of LIGHTNING FIELD which finished 2nd, lodged a protest against TRA CEE ANN (Mr C Grylls), which finished 1st.

Judge's provisional placings were:
First – TRA CEE ANN
Second – LIGHTNING FIELD
Third – ISLA JAY
Fourth – IRONIC
Fifth - FONTEYN
Sixth – RED STAR

The official margins between first and second horses was a “short head”.

Submissions For Decision:

The two horses concerned engaged in a “battling” contest for a considerable distance in the home straight with TRA CEE ANN holding a distinct advantage over LIGHTNING FIELD.

Mr Bosson said that near the 70 metre point his mount hanged up to, and on the outside of TRA CEE ANN. He said that that horse rolled out, as the race film illustrates. Contact was made about 6 strides from the winning post. Mr Bosson said that his mount became unbalanced by this but “came again” and was beaten, he thought, by a nose (in fact it was a short head) and “cost me the race”.

Mr Grylls confirmed there was some slight contact as TRA CEE ANN shifted out, very near the winning post after a long battle in the straight but his mount always had LIGHTNING FIELD covered and was holding out at the finish.

Mr B Jones, Stipendiary Steward, gave his expert opinion as to his interpretation of the race films. He said there was slight contact about 6 strides from the winning post and inside 50 metres. He said whilst LIGHTNING FIELD “might” have beaten TRA CEE ANN it was very hard to say that it “could have” done so.

Reasons For Decision:

Rule 642(1) provides:
If a placed horse or its Rider causes interference within the meaning of this Rule 642 to another placed horse, and the Judicial Committee is of the opinion that the horse so interfered with would have finished ahead of the first mentioned horse had such interference not occurred, they may place the first mentioned horse immediately after the horse interfered with.

Rule 642(2)(b) defines “interference” for the purpose of Rule 642 as
(i) a horse crossing another horse without being at least its own length and one other clear length in front of such other horse at the time of crossing;
(ii) (ii) a horse jostling with another horse, unless it is proved that such jostling was caused by the fault of some other horse or Rider or that the horse or Rider jostled with was partly at fault; or
(iii) a horse itself, or its Rider, in any way interfering with another horse or the Rider of another horse in a Race, unless it is proved that such interference was caused by the fault of some other horse or Rider or that the horse or Rider interfered with was partly at fault.

Where there is contact caused through movement by a horse from its permitted line, sub clause (iii) a possible ‘jostling” under sub clause (ii) come into play.

There are two ingredients of the Protest Rule that have to be satisfied.
  (a) Was there “interference”?
  (b) If so, would – in this case – LIGHTNING FIELD have finished ahead of TRA CEE ANN had that not occurred?

The Committee, after considering all the evidence, submissions and films concluded:
  a) There was contact 5-6 strides before the winning post initiated by the movement of TRA CEE ANN. As such this was interference in  terms of the Rule. It was minor, or slight, as the Stipendiary Steward confirmed.
 b) The crucial issue, was whether, LIGHTNING FIELD would in the Committee’s view have beaten TRA CEE ANN. In many protest cases this is the difficult issue. The test is not whether it “may” have but whether it “would” have. So it must be something more than a mere “possibility”. Proof beyond doubt is not required and indeed not usually possible – but the Committee has to be ‘comfortably satisfied” that such an outcome would have resulted but for the interference.

In this case the combination of
• The slight contact
• The very short distance (6 strides from the winning post)
• The lengthy contest through the straight where TRA CEE ANN was always slightly ahead of, and holding an advantage over LIGHTNING FIELD, was such that the Committee could not be comfortably satisfied that, but for the contact, LIGHTNING FIELD would have finished ahead of TRA CEE ANN.

Decision:

After hearing evidence and submissions from Mr Bosson, Mr Grylls and Connections of his mount, Stipendiary Steward, Mr B Jones and viewing the race films, and for the above reasons, the protest was dismissed and the Judge’s provisional places were confirmed.

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