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Wellington RC 17 March 2012 - R 8

Created on 20 March 2012

NMoffatt (chair)
Mr N Harris - Licensed Rider
Mr R Neal - Stipendiary Steward
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number

Following the running of Race 8, the Group 1 Wellfield New Zealand Oaks, an Information was lodged by Mr N Goodwin alleging a breach of Rule 638(1) (d) in that near the 200m on the first occasion N Harris the rider of ASAVANT has permitted his mount to shift in dictating JOY'S CHOICE inwards into the line of PLANET ROCK which was checked.


Mr Goodwin used the available videos to demonstrate the incident as referred to in the charge. Mr Harris was wide out on the track looking to move closer to the rail. At this stage of the race many of the runners were racing keenly. As Mr Harris shifted inwards on ASAVANT he was not the required distance clear of Mr Innes (JOYS CHOICE) which put pressure on that horse making positions very tight. PLANET ROCK who was in behind suffered quite severe interference for Mr D Browne.

Mr Harris told the committee his intention was to go to the front of the field but as he was moving across to do so he heard Mr Innes yell at him. He had thought he was clear of JOY”S CHOICE but when he looked around and saw he wasn’t he straightened up to relieve the pressure.


As Mr Harris admitted the breach the charge was found proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Harris has had no suspensions in the previous 12 months however Mr Goodwin said this was a Group 1 race and his submission was for a suspension of not less that 7 days.

Mr Harris had no submissions to make on penalty.

Reasons For Penalty:

The committee took into account all of the submissions. Mr Harris has an exceptional record and he also admitted the breach. The aggravating factors in this case however outweigh any discount that we might normally give. The incident occurred in a Group 1 race and two runners received quite severe buffeting as a result of Mr Harris’ carelessness. While there was no intent to cause interference Mr Harris made an error of judgement when he came across when not fully clear of Mr Innes. At that stage of the race all runners were racing keenly and there was not a large margin of error. The Committee considered the interference to be quite significant and taking into account the status of the race it was our opinion a seven day suspension was an appropriate penalty. Within the next seven days Mr Harris advised of riding engagements on Monday March 19th.


Mr Harris was suspended from the close of racing on Monday March 19th up to, and including, racing on Wednesday March 28th. It was our opinion that Mr Harris would not normally ride at Otago so we did not include this day in the suspension.

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