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Waikato RC 21 December 2019 - R 1 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 24 December 2019

ADooley (chair)
Ms S Spratt - Class A Rider
Mr B Jones - Stipendiary Steward
Mr S McKee - Licensed Trainer (Class A)
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of race 1, Print House 1400, an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d). The Informant, Mr Williamson, alleged that Ms Spratt allowed her mount MAKE TIME to shift in when not sufficiently clear of LIKE A BOSS and MILK POWER which were both crowded and hampered near the 1300 metres.

Ms Spratt said that she understood the Rule and confirmed her admission of the breach.

Rule 638(1)(d) provides: A Rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Judicial Committee considers to be careless.

The Committee notes that race 1 was run at 12.30 pm and this hearing commenced at 4.10 pm.

Mr Jones demonstrated the incident using the available video footage. He identified Ms Spratt and showed that she angled her mount inwards at the 1300 metres when ¾ to 1 length clear of LIKE A BOSS. As a result that runner was crowded and hampered along with MILK POWER. He said that Ms Spratt shifted in from a 6 wide position to a 3 wide position. He added that at no stage was Ms Spratt her own length and one other length clear when she shifted inwards.

Ms Spratt said her mount was green and it ducked in a bit. She noted that MILK POWER threw its head in the air when it was crowded and hampered.


As Ms Spratt admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williamson produced Ms Spratt’s record which showed 2 previous breaches of this Rule in the last 12 months, the most recent being 18 May 2019. He said in mitigation Ms Spratt’s mount was green and MILK POWER raced greenly. He said this was a low end charge and a suspension of 5 days would be appropriate.

Ms Spratt told the Committee that she had no engagements on 26 December and any proposed suspension could start immediately. She said that she had several commitments on 1 January 2020 and those horses had minimum weights in Feature races. She added that her record was pretty good and the level of carelessness was mid to low range.

The Committee asked Ms Spratt how a rider of her quality did not have any rides on an Iconic raceday at Ellerslie on 26 December. When tested Ms Spratt said she had no rides for Trainer, Mr McKee. It is important to note that earlier in the day Ms Spratt was listed to ride ONLY IN JAKATA on the NZTR website in race 5 on 26 December and she had been replaced at the time of the hearing by Mr McDonald. Ms Spratt was unable to offer any explanation but her body language indicated that her penalty submissions were not accurate. Therefore, the Committee was concerned about the veracity of Ms Spratt’s riding engagements on 26 December. As a result we asked Mr Williamson to contact Trainer, Mr McKee who promptly attended the hearing.

Mr McKee stated that Ms Spratt had 5 confirmed rides for his stable on 26 December. He said that these rides had been booked with Mr M Brown, Rider Agent for Ms Spratt.

When questioned by the Committee, Mr Williamson confirmed that under the Rules Ms Spratt has an obligation to fulfil her engagements on 26 December.

In conclusion Ms Spratt told the Committee that her suspension could start after racing on 26 December.

In response to a question from the Committee, Ms Spratt said that she did not wish to include Rotorua on 27 December and Matamata on 28 December in her deferment.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented.

The Committee reviewed the video films and found that the level of carelessness displayed by Ms Spratt was low range. We found that Mr Jones’ assessment of the breach was correct. We accept that MILK POWER skied its head in the air when crowded and hampered.

The JCA Penalty Guide starting point for low range carelessness is 6 national riding days which we adopted.

There were no aggravating factors that warranted an uplift in penalty.

The mitigating factors were Ms Spratt’s admission of the breach and her good record. For these collective factors she was afforded a 1 day reduction in penalty.

The Committee adopted the view that the importance of upcoming Iconic/Premier Meetings should be in the forefront of jockeys’ minds, causing them to be even more determined not to breach the Rules. We were mindful that 1 January 2020 is classified as a Premier 1 race meeting.

On the evidence presented to the Committee, it is clear that under the provisions of Rule 1106(2) Ms Spratt has an obligation to fulfil her riding engagements on 26 December at Ellerslie.

After taking into account all the above factors the Committee considered that an appropriate suspension was 5 national riding days.


The Committee granted a deferment to Ms Spratt’s suspension pursuant to Rule 1106(2)

Accordingly, Ms Spratt had her license to ride in races suspended for a period to commence after racing on 26 December 2019 and conclude after racing on 1 January 2020.

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