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Thames JC 3 January 2019 - R 6 (instigating a protest) – Chair, Mr G Jones

Created on 05 January 2019

GJones (chair)
Ms S Spratt (rider and representing the connections of MORRIE OCK)
Mr D Danis (rider of ITS DESTINYS CHILD)
Information Number:
Horse Name:
Persons present:
Mr R Vance (trainer of ITS DESTINYS CHILD)
Mr A Coles - Stipendiary Steward

Following the running of Race No 6, the Versatile Homes 1400, an Information was filed Instigating a Protest pursuant to Rule 642(1). The Informant, Apprentice Rider Mr D Danis, alleged that horse number 1 (MORRIE OCK) placed 1st by the Judge interfered with the chances of horse number 4 (ITS DESTINYS CHILD) placed 2nd by the Judge.

The interference was alleged to have occurred in the final straight.

The Judge's ‘provisional placing were as follows:
1st - No. 1 MORRIE OCK
3rd - No. 3 ACUTUS
4th - No. 7 ICHIBAN

The official margin between 1st and 2nd was a long head.

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”.

For the purposes of Rule 642 “interference” is defined 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) 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.

At the commencement of the hearing the essence of the ‘Protest Rule’ - Rule 642(1) was explained to all parties as well as the necessary standard of proof.

Submissions For Decision:

Mr Danis said his mount (ITS DESTINYS CHILD) trailed the leader (ICHIBAN) into the straight. Using available video film he demonstrated that shortly thereafter he “peeled his mount off the fence” into a 2-wide position. ICHIBAN was racing on his inner and MORRIE OCK was in a 3-wide position and challenging for the lead. He said there was a gap to be taken between ICHIBAN and MORRIE OCK. At that time MORRIE OCK shifted in and his mount became hesitant. He said had Ms Spratt maintained her line his horse would have “probably won the race”. He added ITS DESTINYS CHILD, which was carrying a lighter weight flashed home into second place.

Mr Vance firstly established that the margin between first and second was a long head. He said the films clearly show that Ms Spratt came across and impeded ITS DESTINYS CHILD when only 1 length clear. He said his recollection of the rule was that a jockey must be their own length, plus one other when shifting in. He said that after being impeded ITS DESTINYS CHILD was about a length behind MORRIE OCK and from that point to the finish managed to get within a long head. He submitted that he agreed with his rider, who felt that with a clear run his horse would have won the race.

Ms Spratt submitted that her mount had come from behind ITS DESTINYS CHILD had the whole length of the straight to get past her. She added there was always a gap available for ITS DESTINYS CHILD but it was simply not good enough. Ms Spratt further submitted, using available video film that she never directly shifted into the running line of ITS DESTINYS CHILD and for a very short time ICHIBAN shifted out slightly from the running rail, but the gap never closed. Her final submission was that ITS DESTINYS CHILD had every chance to win the race.

Stipendiary Steward, Mr Coles submitted that there was slight movement from both runners. ICHIBAN shifted outward and MORRIE OCK inward. He said Mr Danis never had to stop riding his mount out to the finish and it was the Committee's task to determine whether the slight movement from the two runners should affect the outcome of the race.

Reasons For Decision:

The Committee carefully considered all of the evidence and submissions presented.

On reviewing the video films we observed that on entering the home straight ICHIBAN was in the lead with ITS DESTINYS CHILD trailing the leader. ITS DESTINYS CHILD then established a run to the outside of ICHIBAN and MORRIE OCK was seeking a run, 3-out, behind both these runners. At the 250 metre mark MORRIE OCK improved to be at least ¾ length in front of and to the outside of ITS DESTINYS CHILD. At this point MORRIE OCK has shifted in very slightly and at the same time ICHIBAN has shifted out slightly. As a result the gap between these runners narrowed. We did not observe any direct interference of any significance. There was always a gap available for ITS DESTINYS CHILD. At no stage did the horses make contact and although Mr Danis’ mount may have been a little inconvenienced he was able to continue to ride forward to the finish line. ITS DESTINYS CHILD did finish the race off strongly, but MORRIE OCK always had ascendency.

Having considered the evidence; the manner in which both horses finished the race off and the head margin at the finish the Committee is of the opinion that ITS DESTINYS CHILD despite being slightly inconvenienced had every opportunity to win the race and the protest should be dismissed.


Accordingly, the protest is dismissed and the Judges placings stand.
1st - No. 1 MORRIE OCK
3rd - No. 3 ACUTUS
4th - No. 7 ICHIBAN

Committee authorises the payment of dividends and stake money in accordance with our decision.

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