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Whangarei RC 28 October 2015 - R 2 - Chair, Mr A Dooley

Created on 02 November 2015

ADooley (chair)
Mr L Innes - Rider of SACRED WIND
Mr J Oatham - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Mr A Coles - Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless Riding

Following the running of race 2 Cowley’s Hire Centre, an Information was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d). The Informant, Mr Coles alleged that Mr Innes permitted his mount SACRED WIND to shift inwards when not sufficiently clear of AMPARO which was checked near the 150 metres.

Mr Innes acknowledged that he understood the Rule.

Mr Innes initially denied the breach but prior to the commencement of the hearing he sought permission to change his plea which was granted by the Committee.

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

Mr Oatham demonstrated the incident using all the available video films. He pointed out to the Committee that early in the home straight AMPARO ducked out abruptly away from KATANGO making contact with SACRED WIND with both runners becoming briefly unbalanced. He identified that near the 200 metres Mr Innes was riding his mount with vigour when it continued to shift in when not the required distance clear. He said this resulted in SACRED WIND making contact with AMPARO which had to be checked sharply shifting in making contact with KATANGO.

Mr Oatham identified on the head – on film that Mr Innes made an attempt with his left hand to correct his horse from shifting in but it was too late. He added the incident was messy and stated the racing manners of AMPARO may have contributed to the incident.

Mr Innes told the Committee that Ms Collett was having difficulty with AMPARO prior to he checked her. He said the racing manners of her mount had a bearing on the incident and he stated his mount rolled in for half a stride.


As Mr Innes admitted the breach the Committee found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Coles produced Mr Innes’ record which showed 3 previous breaches under this Rule in the last 12 months, the most recent being 12 September which incurred a 4 day suspension. He said this was a pretty good record and submitted a suspension at the low end. He said the racing manners of AMPARO were a mitigating factor.

Mr Innes submitted that he had a ride at Moonee Valley on Friday night and was engaged to ride MARKY MARK on Saturday in Melbourne. He added that he could get released from those rides if the Committee would consider imposing a 2 day suspension and a $2,000 fine. He stated this would then allow him to ride at the Premier meeting at Ellerslie on 3 November where the total stake money for the day was $350,000. Mr Innes also advised that he was engaged to ride SERENA MISS in a Group 1 race on 7 November. He asked the Committee to consider all of his submissions but acknowledged the decision on penalty was up to the Judicial Committee to determine.

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented. The Committee have adopted 5 riding days as the starting point in considering the term of suspension for this careless riding charge. The mitigating fact was Mr Innes’ admission of the breach for which he has been given credit. The level of carelessness was assessed in the low to mid – range. Mr Innes made an error of judgement when he continued to ride his mount forward when it was shifting in which resulted in 2 horses being checked. The Committee accepts the racing manners of AMAPRO may have contributed to the incident.

Mr Innes record under this rule was deemed to be a neutral factor.

There were no compelling or exceptional circumstances placed before the Committee to justify a 2 day suspension and a $2,000 fine. Mr Innes was also advised there has been no precedent for this type of penalty.

The Committee notes that Mr Innes did not disclose which horse he was riding on Friday night at Moonee Valley and curiously his name was not declared for any horse. However, the Committee accepts Mr Innes is engaged for MARKY MARK on Saturday and he has been declared as the rider.

After taking into account all the above factors the Committee considered an appropriate penalty was a 4 day suspension. However, further consideration was given to the fact that the 4th day of this suspension would result in Mr Innes missing the ride on SERENA MISS in a Group1 race worth $400,000.

Given the circumstances regarding this charge the Committee determine a more appropriate, and fair penalty taking all of the factors into consideration would be a 3 day suspension and a fine. This is consistent with recent penalties imposed with similar situations.

Banks Peninsula 1 November was not included in the penalty because Mr Innes has no recent history of riding there.


The Committee grant a deferment to Mr Innes’ suspension as per Rule 1106(2).

Accordingly, Mr Innes had his license to ride in races suspended for a period to commence after racing on 31 October and conclude after racing on 6 November 2015 (3 days).  In addition the Committee impose a $750 fine.

That period of suspension encompasses meetings at Ellerslie, Avondale and Rotorua.

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