You are here: Home / Race Days / Dummy Location - 1 January 2001 / Non Raceday Inquiry - M W Hamilton 01 March 09

Non Raceday Inquiry - M W Hamilton 01 March 09



105.4
1003.1

Information number 7354 alleges as follows:

THAT on 17 December 2008 at trials held by the Otago Racing Club at Wingatui, being the person responsible for the nomination and acceptance of the unnamed 2 year old gelding by HAWKEYE out of NORTHERNTART, being an acceptor for heat one the Maiden 2 year old Catchweight 800 metre event on that day and THAT Mr Hamilton was responsible for having the unnamed 2 year old gelding by HAWKEYE out of DANCE THE DANCE brought to the Wingatui Racecourse for the purpose of competing in such event in place of the NORTHERNTART gelding AND THAT he thereby committed a breach of the Fifth Appendix (Trial Regulations) pursuant to Rule 105 (4) and Rule1002 (1) (b) of the Rules of Racing AND THAT he is liable for the penalty/penalties which may be imposed pursuant to Rule 1003 (1) of the said Rules.



IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Racing

AND

 

IN THE MATTER of Information No. 7354

 

BETWEEN              Mark Davidson, Stipendiary steward for New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing

                                 Informant   

 

AND                         Murray Hamilton

                                 of Omakau, Licensed Trainer

                                 Defendant

 

DATE OF HEARING:              Sunday, 1 March 2009

 

VENUE:                                     Judicial Room, Cromwell Racing Club, Cromwell

 

JUDICIAL COMMITTEE:      Mr G Hall (Chairman)

                                                   Mr N Johnstone (Member)

 

PRESENT:                                 Mr M Davidson (Informant)

                                                   Mr M Hamilton (Defendant)

                                                   Mr R Scott (Registrar)                                        

 

DATE OF DECISION:             1 March 2009

 

 

 

DECISION OF JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



The charges

Information number 7354 alleges as follows:

THAT on 17 December 2008 at trials held by the Otago Racing Club at Wingatui, being the person responsible for the nomination and acceptance of the unnamed 2 year old gelding by HAWKEYE out of NORTHERNTART, being an acceptor for heat one the Maiden 2 year old Catchweight 800 metre event on that day and THAT Mr Hamilton was responsible for having the unnamed 2 year old gelding by HAWKEYE out of DANCE THE DANCE brought to the Wingatui Racecourse for the purpose of competing in such event in place of the NORTHERNTART gelding AND THAT he thereby committed a breach of the Fifth Appendix (Trial Regulations) pursuant to Rule 105 (4) and Rule1002 (1) (b) of the Rules of Racing AND THAT he is liable for the penalty/penalties which may be imposed pursuant to Rule 1003 (1) of the said Rules.

 

The Rules

The relevant Rules provide as follows:

105(4) In addition to the provisions of (2) of this Rule, the Board may from time to time make and amend such Regulations as its sole discretion thinks fit in relation to Trials. Such Regulations shall have full force and effect as part of these Rules such Regulations to be set out in the Fifth Appendix. Every person who or body or other entity which contravenes or in any way fails to comply with any provision of any such Regulations commits a breach of these Rules.

 

1002(1) Every person commits a breach of these Rules who: …

(b) acts in contravention of or fails to comply with any provision of these Rules or any Regulations made thereunder, or any notice, direction, instruction, restriction, requirement or condition given, made or imposed under these Rules;

 

1003(1) Every person who or body or other entity (not being a Club) which commits or is deemed to have committed a breach of these Rules or any of them, or any sub-Rule of any of them for which no penalty is provided elsewhere in these Rules shall be liable to:

(a) be disqualified for a period not exceeding twelve months; or

(b) suspended from holding or obtaining a licence, permit, certificate or registration for a period not exceeding 12 months. If a licence, permit, certificate or registration is renewed during a term of suspension, then the suspension shall continue to apply to the renewed licence, permit, certificate or registration; and/or

(c) a fine not exceeding $10,000.

Where a Rule, or a sub-Rule, creates a breach of these Rules or declares or deems an act or omission by any person or body or other entity to be a breach of a Rule or of these Rules and also provides that the or a horse may be disqualified the liability to disqualification of the horse shall not be regarded as a penalty for the person’s or body’s or other entity’s breach of the Rule or of the sub-Rule or of these Rules

 

The facts

Mr Davidson, stipendiary steward, stated that at the trials held by the ORC at Wingatui Racecourse on 17 December 2008 the defendant entered and presented a 2 year-old gelding by Hawkeye-Northerntart (brand listed as Twin Pines 98 over 6, microwave chip 985125000014937) in a maiden 2 year-old catchweight 800 metre event. He produced, as exhibit 1, the official report from the trials day.

 

At the customary brand inspection by the stipendiary steward prior to the trial, it was discovered that the identification of the horse was in fact a 2 year-old gelding Hawkeye-Dance the Dance (brand listed as Twin Pines 90 over 6, microwave chip 985125000023454). It was later established that both horses had been bred at Westbury Stud and offered to Mr Hamilton to purchase. Mr Hamilton bought the Hawkeye-Dance the Dance gelding; the other horse remained at Westbury Stud.  When spoken to by the stipendiary steward, Mr Hamilton stated he become confused due to the fact that he also had a 3 year-old out of the dam Northerntart. Mr Hamilton acknowledged the mix-up was totally his error and no blame should be attached to the stud.

 

Mr Hamilton said he originally sent the horse to run in a work out with Mr T Kennedy’s horses. It was only when Mr Kennedy said his horses were going to run in the trial that Mr Hamilton decided to run his horses, including the Hawkeye-Dance the Dance gelding. Mr Hamilton admitted he had never checked the brand of the horse. He said in his long career as a standard-bred and thoroughbred trainer, an incident such as this had never happened before.

 

The submissions 

Mr Davidson said the NZTR did not consider the matter to be a serious racing offence. Mr Hamilton had simply become confused in the circumstances. Mr Davidson emphasised it was the responsibility of the trainer to check the identification of every horse in his care. The failure to do so had the potential to affect the integrity of racing. He stated that Mr Hamilton was “very negligent” in this case. Any penalty had to operate as a deterrent to others. He acknowledged Mr Hamilton’s co-operation, which had avoided the need to call witnesses. He submitted the matter could best be dealt with by way of a fine in the order of $500 to $700. He noted NZTR had not occurred any additional costs with respect to this matter.

 

Mr Davidson produced a record of the decision in NZTR v Kennedy (31 July 2008) where a fine of $600 and costs of $250 were imposed on the trainer Mr Shane Kennedy who had similarly produced the wrong horse at a trial meeting.

 

Mr Hamilton was extremely apologetic and acknowledged the mix-ups should never have occurred.  He suggested a warning might be appropriate. However, he indicated that, in light of the similarity between the cases, Mr S Kennedy might be upset were he to be so dealt with.

 

Penalty

We accept that the similarities between the two cases are striking. Each involves an incident of presenting the wrong horse at a trial in circumstances where the trainer has simply made an honest mistake. Both defendants have admitted the breach and have excellent records with respect to this Rule. We accept Mr Davidson is correct when he says there is a need for deterrence with respect to breaches of this particular Rule and that the integrity of racing is at issue. There is also a need for consistency between the penalty we impose upon Mr Hamilton and that imposed on Mr Kennedy. We see no reason to differ from the level of penalty imposed in that case, which we believe appropriately reflects the needs of deterrence. Mr Hamilton is fined the sum of $600, with costs of $200 to the JCA.

 

Geoff Hall            Chairman

Neil Johnstone      Member
Document Actions