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24 Apr 2021
Auckland-Rc - R9

Auckland RC 24 April 2021 - R 9 (request for ruling) - Chair, G Jones

Created on 25 April 2021

GJones (chair)
Stipendiary Steward(s):
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward - Informant, Mr J Richards - Licensed Trainer - Respondent
Information Number:

Mr Williamson lodged an Information requesting a Ruling in relation to Rule 534 (2) (b) to establish whether Licensed Trainer, Mr Richards can scratch his horse (RADEGAST) from Race 9, the Vale Prince Philip - Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021 Mile.
Rule 534(2)(b) enables an Information to be filed with the Judicial Committee to determine “whether there are such circumstances and whether the Trainer or Owner or lessee (as the case may be) or his Agent or its Racing Manager is authorised to scratch the horse after that time.”
This Rule also provides that a material changes in track condition, occurring after the 7.30am scratching deadline shall be deemed by the Stipendiary Steward and the Judicial Committee to constitute such circumstances as set out in Rule 534(2)(b).

Submission For Decision:

Mr Williamson advised that following Race 4, Mr Richards sought Steward’s permission to late scratch RADEGAST from Race 9 because he believed that the track rating was worse than the official ‘slow 9’ rating. Mr Williamson said that Stewards denied Mr Richards request as the track conditions, according to Race times, were unchanged.
Mr Richards submitted he did not scratch RADEGAST at the 7.30am deadline as he expected that the track conditions would improve during the day as fine weather was forecast. He said that after the running of the first 4 Races, his assessment of the track is that it is worse than a slow 9 and thought that it should be downgraded so that he could scratch his horse penalty free.
Mr Williamson said that the track was a slow 9 at the 7.30am scratching time and to this point the condition of the track remains unchanged. He did however acknowledge the track was “holding and hard work” but based on Race times Stewards are not prepared to downgrade the status of the track.

Reasons For Decision:

The track was rated a ‘slow 9’ at 7.30am and according to the Stewards assessment the track conditions had not changed at the time of this request. Mr Williamson did concede that riders were finding the going testing, but the Race times were consistent with a slow 9 rating and on that basis, Stewards were not prepared to change the rating.

After carefully considering the submissions, the Committee deemed that the evidence before us was not convincing that track conditions had materially changed since the 7.30am rating of ‘slow 9’ was posted and on that basis we could not we could not authorise Mr Richards to scratch his horse. On the other hand, we felt that we could not compel Mr Richards to start his horse under the circumstances, and in scratching his horse Mr Richards understood he may face consequences for doing so.


The Committee's Ruling is that Mr Richards is not permitted to scratch RADEGAST from Race 9 as the official track conditions have not materially changed after the permitted scratching deadline.

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