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Wellington RC 9 June 2018 - R 8 - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 12 June 2018

NMoffatt (chair)
Mr M McNelis - Apprentice Rider
Mr M Breslin - Licensed Trainer assisting Mr McNelis
Mr D Balcombe - Stipendiary Steward
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of Race 8 (In Memory of Lyn Stent Handicap), an Information was lodged by Mr N Goodwin stating, that apprentice jockey M McNelis allowed his mount to shift outwards when not the required distance clear of ROCK ISLAND LINE inconveniencing and hampering ROCK ISLAND LINE and RENE which was bumped.

Mr Balcombe outlined the incident using the videos. Mr McNelis was racing half a horse-width off the fence but, soon after entering the home straight, he allowed his mount to roll out into the line of Mr Hannam (ROCK ISLAND LINE). As a result Mr Hannam was forced wider which resulted in contact with RENE (M Singh).

Mr Goodwin said it was clear that there was room available for Mr Hannam to improve into but Mr McNelis took his line of running when not the required 2 lengths clear.

Mr McNelis showed the head-on film and explained the situation from his perspective. He said he angled outwards following a call from Mrs Allpress, who was travelling behind him seeking a run through on the fence. He was trying to give her some room. Unfortunately, his horse, which has a tendency to “run around”, moved out wider than he anticipated. As soon as he heard Mr Hannam call out he tried to straighten his line of running. Mr McNelis showed his horse’s head turned inwards supporting this statement.

Mr Breslin played the rear-view video and asked the Committee to look at the running line of RENE (Mr Singh). He showed where Mr Singh moved inwards at the same time that Mr McNelis moved outwards. Mr Breslin said this movement compounded the situation and made the interference worse.


As Mr McNelis admitted the breach we found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Goodwin said the Stewards placed Mr McNelis’ carelessness in the low range and submitted that a suspension was an appropriate penalty. His only previous charge for careless riding was in July 2017 with Mr Goodwin adding that Mr McNelis rarely appeared in front of the Stewards.

Mr McNelis said although he had admitted the breach he would like the Committee to consider the other factors he had explained.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee considered all of the submissions presented and it was our opinion the breach sat at the low end of carelessness. Mr McNelis was attempting to ride within the rules by taking evasive action on two occasions, but the waywardness of his horse, and the contributory inward movement by Mr Singh all contributed to the interference. The rear-view video was particularly helpful in confirming Mr Breslin’s summation of the incident and the Committee is of the view that, had Mr Singh kept a straight line, the interference would have been minor.

The Committee adopted a starting point of 6 days as per the Penalty Guide for Judicial Committees.

There were no aggravating factors.

Mitigating factors were Mr McNelis’ admission of the breach and his good record.

Mr McNelis told the Committee he had no riding commitments within the next seven days therefore any suspension could start immediately.


Taking into account all submissions it was the Committee’s opinion that a five day suspension was an appropriate penalty.

Mr McNelis is suspended from the close of racing today up to and including racing on Sunday June 17th.

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