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Hawke's Bay RI 15 janaury 2012 - R 3 (heard at Trentham on 23 January 2012


Mr R Neal, Stipendiary Steward
Defendant: Mr L Innes, Licenced Jockey
Information No: A3463
Meeting: Hawke's Bay Racing Incorporated
Date: 15 January 2012 (heard at Trentham on 23 January 2012)
Venue: Hastings
Race: 3
Rule: 638(1)(d)
Judicial Committee: Noel McCutcheon, Chairman – Paul Williams, Committee Member
Plea: Not Admitted
Also Present: N Goodwin and J Oatham, Stipendiary Stewards, Miss J Shakleton (present for part of proceedings)


At the Hawkes Bay meeting on 15 January 2012 an information was filed with the Judicial Committee alleging a breach of Rule 638(1)(d) by jockey Mr L Innes, in relation to an incident during the running of race 3. Due to Mr Innes becoming unwell the inquiry was adjourned and re-convened at Trentham on 23 January 2012.


Information A3463 was filed by Stipendiary Steward Mr Neal under Rule 638(1)(d). The information stated that “Mr L Innes the rider of Split Second allowed his mount to shift inwards near the 700m dictating Sand Rascal (Miss J Shakleton) into the line of Taaxman (Mr R Hutchings) which was checked. Mr Innes had signed the information that he did not admit the breach, and at the hearing confirmed that he understood the rule and the charge preferred against him.


Rule 638(1)(d) states: “A rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Judicial Committee considers to be …careless”


Mr Neal asked Mr Goodwin to show the films and identify the horses. He identified the horses in the run down the back straight as Taaxman (R Hutchings) racing adjacent to the running rail, Sand Rascal(J Shakleton) racing in the lead a little ahead of Taaxman with Split Second (L Innes) racing behind and to the outside of Sand Rascal. He said that at the end of the back straight Miss Shakleton is one-off the rail, and Mr Innes strides forward then allows his mount to shift inwards dictating Miss Shakleton in towards the running rail, and that Mr Hutchings has to check his mount, and Mr Tinsley who was following has to take a hold. Mr Goodwin said that the Stewards believe Mr Innes forced Miss Shakleton in towards the rail. He said that prior to the incident Miss Shakleton was one-off the rail – a position she was entitled to if she so chose, and that Mr Hutchings was in a position he was entitled to.


Mr Innes asked Mr Goodwin would he admit that Mr Hutchings mount was pulling. Mr Goodwin said it was going keenly.


Mr Neal then called Miss Shakleton as a witness. Miss Shakleton said “my horse was in front one-off the rail, Mr Hutchings was three quarters of a length back on my inside, Mr Innes came up on my outside, yelled at me to go faster and go to the rail, I felt my horse wasn’t going good enough to go faster, I knew I wasn’t sufficiently clear of Mr Hutchings to cross over, I was then forced across by Mr Innes, Mr Innes made contact with my horse”.


In response to a question from Mr Neal she said she had no intention of going to the rail, “I was hoping Mr Hutchings would push up inside me or something would come around and take the running, because my horse wasn’t travelling well”.


In answer to a question from the committee, Miss Shakleton said “Mr Innes was half a head in front of my mount when he started to put pressure on me and push me across”.

Mr Innes did not have any questions of Miss Shakleton.


With the approval of the committee Mr Innes questioned Mr Hutchings via speaker-phone. In answer to the questions Mr Hutchings said “I was happy to take a sit, had not ridden the horse before, my intentions were to take a hold, was over-racing quite hard, and never had to check”.


Mr Neal then questioned Mr Hutchings. Mr Neal said “that when I spoke with you thirty minutes after the race you said that you were inside the heels of Jess Shakleton who was barely clear of you”. “You said then that you had to check your mount”. “Are you now saying you had to take a hold?”. Mr Hutchings replied “After looking at the film, Jess Shakleton was a length clear and going away”. Mr Neal asked Mr Hutchings if his interpretation on the day was incorrect. Mr Hutchings answered “Yes it was”.


Mr Innes for his part, said he had not done anything wrong. He had an inexperienced rider to his inside, and that they were sitting on a slow speed, they ran three seconds slower than the following race that was also a maiden race. “If anything I was helping her to go across, I wasn’t putting too much pressure on her, I was following her across, I’ve gone from a good position mid-race to end up being three or four wide because my horse was over-racing with blinkers on, at no stage did Rory Hutchings want to lead, and I just couldn’t believe that they put a charge up anyway”. “I’ve had a lot of careless riding charges and I’m one of the first to put my hands up if I’m guilty, but on this occasion I don’t think I am”. “I would like you to take into account that a lot of central districts jockeys question Miss Shakleton’s ability when riding in races, she doesn’t like getting on the rail”. “It was no wonder Mr Hutchings horse was over-racing as they went three seconds slower than the other race, that’s 21 lengths”.


In summing up Mr Neal said that Miss Shakleton was quite clear in her evidence that she had no intention of moving to the rail in advance of Mr Hutchings because she wasn’t going well enough, she seemed comfortable enough sitting out where she was.


He said that it was clear that her line had been dictated by Mr Innes, who didn’t want to be out three-wide, he wanted to be closer to the rail. He assisted Miss Shakleton in moving to the rail and as Mr Goodwin had said in his interpretation of the films, Mr Hutchings was only a length behind when Miss Shakleton was taken across. The films clearly demonstrated that despite Mr Hutchings now having a change of heart in relation to how he interprets the incident, he clearly had to check his mount; the films are very good on this occasion. He added that Mr Hutchings had to check his mount because Miss Shakleton had been shifted across by Mr Innes when insufficiently clear.


Mr Innes in response said that Mr Neal had read the race wrong. “If I am guilty I put my hand up, but on this occasion I don’t think I am at fault at all”.


Reasons for Decision:
The committee considered all the evidence including video footage of the alleged incident at length. The committee found that near the 700m, Mr Innes allowed his mount Split Second to shift in onto Sand Rascal when not sufficiently clear. As a consequence Sand Rascal was forced inwards across the line of Taaxman who was checked, we found that the evidence of Miss Shakleton was very clear and consistent with the video footage of the incident. Mr Hutchings’ evidence in part was that Sand Rascal was about one length clear when shifting in across his line. Whilst Mr Hutchings said he did not have to check, the committee believes that the films show that in fact he did.


The careless riding charge preferred against Mr Innes was proved.


Penalty Submissions:
Mr Neal outlined Mr Innes’ careless riding record, which showed that he had breached the careless riding rule on 6 occasions within the last twelve months. He said that the degree of careless riding sat towards the low end of the scale and submitted that a 5 to 6 day suspension would be appropriate.


Mr Innes said that the careless riding charge was debatable, the evidence of Mr Hutchings was that he didn’t receive a check. That the carelessness was at the low end of the charge. He said that he noted that last week James McDonald had a 3 day suspension, and that he also appealed a 5 day suspension, and had it reduced to 3 days. He said that if the JCA are going to be consistent that his suspension should only be for 3 days. He added that all that jockeys ask for is consistency. He also noted that another rider up north had recently received a 3 day suspension as well. Mr Innes said he would like any suspension to commence after racing on 30 January 2012.


Mr Neal advised the committee that Mr McDonald’s record was exceptional and that he had not been suspended in the last 12 months. Mr Innes responded by saying that he had been suspended in Australia within that time.


Reasons for Decision:
The committee considered the submissions on penalty from both Mr Neal and Mr Innes. The starting point for careless riding is one of 5 riding days suspension. On this occasion we do not believe that there are any mitigating factors. Aggravating factors are that Mr Innes forced Miss Shakleton and her mount off their rightful line of running and as a consequence Taaxman was checked. Mr Innes’ record shows that this is his 7th breach of the careless riding rule since 29 January 2011.


Following careful analysis the committee determined that the degree of careless riding was in the low to mid-range category. We have determined that a period of suspension is the appropriate penalty.

Mr Innes’ jockey’s licence was suspended from the conclusion of racing on 30 January 2012 up to the end of racing on 8 February 2012. (6 riding days). The 6 days being 1 February (Canterbury), 2 February (Wanganui), 3 February (Paeroa), 4 February (Hamilton), 6 February (Wairarapa), 8 February (Waipa).

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