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Taranaki RI 29 September 2018 - R 1 - Chair, Mr P Williams

Created on 02 October 2018

PWilliams (chair)
Mr S O'Malley - Apprentice Jockey
Mrs L Allpress - Jockey
Ms L Hemi - Jockey
Mr J Wheeler - Trainer assisting Mr O'Malley
Mr C Bothwell - Trainer assisting Mr O'Malley
Mr D Balcombe - Stipendiary Steward
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding
Following the running of race 1, the “Taranaki Pine Dash”, Information A8847 was filed by Stipendiary Steward Mr N Goodwin under Rule 638(1)(d). The Information stated “in that S O’Malley, the rider of “Dana’s Prophecy allowed his mount to shift inwards approaching the 200m dictating “Pep Torque” in onto “Vincent” which was tightened and checked”. Mr O’Malley signed the Information stating he did not admit the breach and at the beginning of the hearing confirmed that was correct and that he understood the Rule under which he was charged. His employer, Mr Haigh who was on course, was unavailable to assist Mr O’Malley and he was initially assisted by Trainer Mr J Wheeler. Mr Goodwin indicated he intended calling Mrs Allpress and Ms Hemi as his witnesses and Mr O’Malley indicated he intended calling Mr Bradley as his witness.
Rule 638 (1) (d) states “A rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Judicial Committee considers to be .....careless”.
Submission For Decision:
Using the available films from the top of the home straight Stipendiary Steward Mr Balcombe identified Mr O’Malley leading the race and racing approximately 3 horse widths away from the rail. Also highlighted was Mrs Allpress on “Vincent” running adjacent to the running rail and approximately 2 lengths behind Mr O’Malley. To her outside and approximately 1 length in front of her was Ms Hemi on “Pep Torque”. Using the head-on film Mr Goodwin said approaching the 200m mark there was enough room to the inside of Mr O’Malley for both Mrs Allpress and Ms Hemi. He said Mr O’Malley then allowed his mount to shift inwards when not sufficiently clear of Ms Hemi which caused Ms Hemi to be dictated inwards into the line of Mrs Allpress who had no alternative but to check her mount.
The side on film from the camera at the end of the back straight was also shown. Mr Goodwin said this appeared to show that Mr O’Malley was possibly the required 2 lengths clear of Ms Hemi when he shifted inwards. He said this was an optical illusion and then played that view and the side-on and head-on home straight films which he believed clearly showed Mr O’Malley was not the required distance in front of Ms Hemi when he shifted in. He said the head-on film showed where Mr O’Malley had moved from a position three off the rail to a position adjacent to it which had caused the interference as described.
To questions from Mr Goodwin Mrs Allpress said near the 200m point she was about to move up along the rail to the inside of Ms Hemi when she had to take a hold because Ms Hemi came back onto her quite quickly. She said she had called out to Ms Hemi and was lucky to not clip heels as Ms Hemi was on top of her. She said she had noticed a horse to the outside of Ms Hemi and estimated that Ms Hemi was only a length in front of her when she (Mrs Allpress) was checked and had to stop riding.
Mr O’Malley had no questions of Mrs Allpress. Mr Wheeler said the only issue to be determined was how far Mr O’Malley was in front of Ms Hemi when he shifted in. He asked Mrs Allpress how far she thought Mr O’Malley was in front of Ms Hemi and Mrs Allpress said she thought he was only a length in front of Ms Hemi adding that at that point Ms Hemi was only a length clear of her which resulted in her (Mrs Allpress) receiving the check.
To questions from Mr Goodwin Ms Hemi said at around the 200m mark she was dictated inwards by the inward movement of Mr O’Malley who took her line of running. She said she was behind Mr O’Malley and about to make a run but before she could do Mr O’Malley rolled in under pressure and dictated her in on to Mrs Allpress who was inside her and attempting to improve. She initially said she thought Mr O’Malley was only a length and “a bit” in front of her when he moved in although later in her evidence she changed that to a length and half. She said she couldn’t pull back from behind him as she thought that would have caused her to clip his mount’s heels. She added that she heard Mrs Allpress call out but couldn’t relieve the pressure and felt Mrs Allpress’ horse had “bumped her”.
Mr O’Malley had no questions of Ms Hemi. Mr Wheeler asked Ms Hemi to say again how far she thought Mr O’Malley was in front of her when he shifted in and she said no more than one and a half lengths.
At the conclusion of Mr Goodwin's submissions the hearing was adjourned as Mr O’Malley was riding in the next race. When the hearing resumed Mr Wheeler was not available to assist him and that role was taken over by licensed trainer Mr Bothwell. Mr O’Malley was asked if Mr Bradley was going to give evidence but Mr O’Malley said he no longer intended calling him. The films of the incident were shown to Mr Bothwell and Mr O’Malley was asked to make his submissions. He pointed out that the film taken from the camera at the 800m mark showed that he was clear. At that point Mr Bothwell asked for an adjournment so he could speak to Mr O’Malley outside the hearing room. That was allowed and on their return Mr O’Malley indicated he now wished to change his plea to one of admitting the breach.
Reasons For Decision:
After taking advice from Mr Bothwell Mr O'Malley admitted the breach.
As Mr O’Malley has admitted the breach the charge is found proved.
Submission For Penalty:
Mr Goodwin said Mr O’Malley had not previously breached this Rule. He described the severity of the breach as mid-range but did not make a specific submission on what he believed was an appropriate penalty.
Mr O’Malley had no comments to make on penalty other than to ask for a deferment of any suspension to commence after racing at Waverley on Thursday 4 October 2018.
Reasons For Penalty:
The Committee has reviewed films of the incident. It is clear, as stated by Mr Goodwin and emphasised by Mr Wheeler, that the film from the camera at the 800m mark does create the impression that Mr O’Malley is possibly the required distance clear when shifting inwards. However, the other films shown to the Committee show that, as he commenced to shift inwards near the 200m, he took the rightful line of Ms Hemi who was dictated inwards causing a significant check to Mrs Allpress. The evidence of both Mrs Allpress and Ms Hemi is compelling and this is supported by the head-on and side-on films in the home straight that show Mr O’Malley moved from a three-wide position to a position on the rail. The Committee believes he was not the required distance clear of Ms Hemi as if he had been she would not have been dictated inwards. We also note there was no evidence provided to say Ms Hemi’s mount was not racing tractably or that it overreacted when Mr O’Malley shifted inwards.
The Committee believes on this occasion a period of suspension is an appropriate penalty. We assess the severity of the breach to be just below mid-range with the starting point for such a breach being a suspension of seven national riding days.
We have noted this is Mr O’Malley’s first breach of the Rule in what is a relatively short riding career – having had approximately 90 raceday rides in the last couple of years. Whilst he did change his plea towards the end of the hearing this was only on the advice of Mr Bothwell. Taking those two matters into account we reduce the penalty by 1 day. Mr O’Malley is therefore suspended for 6 national riding days and his request for a deferment of the suspension is approved in terms of Rule 1106(2).
Mr O’Malley is suspended from the close of racing on Thursday 4 October 2018 to the close of racing on Friday 12 October 2018.
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