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Avondale JC 26 April 2021 – R 3 – Chair, Mr G Jones

Created on 27 April 2021

GJones (chair)
Mr M McNab - Rider of CHANEL
Mr A Coles - Stipendiary Steward
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
Careless riding

This charge arises from the running of Race 3, the NZB Insurance Pearl Series / Fasttrack Insurance 2YOF SW 1200m. Senior Stipendiary Steward Mr Williamson filed an Information pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d) alleging the Rider of “CHANEL (M McNab), allowed his mount to shift out over the concluding stages when insufficiently clear of TRIESTE (D Johnson), which was checked”.

Mr McNab acknowledged he understood the Rule and confirmed his admission of the breach.

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

Using the available race films Stipendiary Steward Mr Coles demonstrated the incident and identified the horses and Riders concerned; namely CHANEL (M McNab) and TRIESTE (D Johnson).

Mr Coles told the Committee that as the field approached the 200-metre mark CHANEL was racing on the rails, with TRIESTE ½ to ¾ length ahead and on its outer. Mr Coles said that a partial gap emerged for CHANEL inside of TRIESTE but as Mr McNab was about to take the gap there was insufficient room. He said Mr McNab forced a run and in doing so bumped TRIESTE and pushed that horse wider on the track. He added that at the time TRIESTE was weakening.

In response, Mr McNab stated that initially when he shifted out there was a marginal run, but accepted the gap closed. He added that his horse is a 2-year-old having its first race day start and it over reacted.


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

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williamson produced Mr McNab’s riding record which indicated 3 previous breaches under the Careless Riding Rule in the last 4 months, namely:

13/02/21 Waikato RC mid/high 7 days and $700

26/12/20 Auckland RC mid/high 6 days and $500

11/12/20 Tauranga RC mid/high 6 days and $500

Mr Williamson said Stewards assessed Mr McNab’s level of carelessness to be in the low-range. He said that Mr McNab is a competitive Rider and although competitive riding is encouraged by Stewards, Mr McNab crossed the line this occasion.

Mr McNab sought a deferment to any proposed suspension until after racing on 1 May 2021. In relation to penalty, he submitted that he would like any proposed suspension to conclude prior to racing at Te Rapa on 8 May 2021 as there is a particular horse, he is keen to ride at that meeting. He asked whether any proposed suspension could be reduced in lieu of an increased fine.

Reasons For Penalty:

After considering the submissions and reviewing the race film, the Committee assessed Mr McNab’s carelessness to be in the low to mid-range and adopted a 4-day (suspension) and $250 (fine) as the starting point. This conforms with the NZTR Penalty Guide which recommends a 4 day/$250 fine as the starting point for low-range carelessness.

The available films clearly established that Mr McNab forced a run when not clear of TRIESTE who received a reasonable bump. However, the Committee was advised, and this appears to be supported by the race films, that TRIESTE was weakening at the time, therefore the consequences did not necessarily cost it the opportunity to finish in a better placing.

Generally, at the discretion of the Committee a good record combined with an admission of the breach would result in a 1-day penalty reduction. However, because this is Mr McNab’s fourth breach in 4 months it cannot be said that he has a good record and as such he cannot be afforded credit for having a good record.

Mr McNab requested that the Committee uplift the proposed fine in lieu of reducing the number of proposed suspension days so that he could defer his penalty until after racing on 1 May 2021 and receive a 3-day suspension which would enable him to be able to ride at the Te Rapa meeting on 8 May 2021. The Committee did consider this request but rejected it on the basis that he does not have a good record and the level of carelessness (low to mid) is such that a 4-day suspension is deemed to be reasonable and proportionate. Whilst Committees do have the option to replace suspension days with a fine, it is generally only done on a case-by-case basis when exceptional circumstances exist. In this case Mr McNab’s desire to ride a horse on the last day of his suspension is not viewed as being an exceptional circumstance. Additionally, if it were common practice for Riders to be able to routinely substitute suspension days for monetary fines; there is potential for inequalities to evolve as Riders in better financial positions would be more willing and able to pay fines than those not in such a strong financial position.

Furthermore, Mr McNab did have an option to take his suspension immediately, but he exercised his right to defer until after racing on 1 May 2021, and had he taken his suspension after racing today he would have been able to ride at Te Rapa on 8 May 2021.

After considering the above factors the Committee imposed a 4 (national) day suspension and $250 fine.


The Committee granted Mr McNab a deferment to his suspension pursuant to Rule 1106(2). Accordingly, his licence to ride in races is suspended for a period of 4 days commencing after racing on 1 May 2021 and concluding after racing on 8 May 2021. In addition, he is fined $250.

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