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Manawatu RC 26 December 2017 - R 7 (request for ruling) - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 26 January 2018

NMoffatt (chair)
Stipendiary Steward(s):
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Ms C Waddell - Apprentice Rider of MYSTIGAN, Mr K Gray - Trainer of MYSTIGAN Delete, Mr G Philips - Official Starter
Information Number:

Following the running of Race 4 (More FM Manawatu Maiden) an information was lodged with the Judicial Committee requesting a ruling in relation to Rule 632(1) in that did MYSTIGAN receive a fair start.

Rule 632(1) reads: If, in the opinion of the Judicial Committee, a horse which does not finish in the first three placings was prevented from taking an effective part in a Race owing to mechanical failure of starting stalls, or is denied a fair start and such occurrence materially prejudiced the chances of that horse (but not where the horse is slow away by its own accord), the Judicial Committee may declare such horse to be a non-starter.

Submission For Decision:

Mr Goodwin played the head-on video and identified MYSTIGAN starting from barrier 6 wearing a barrier blanket. Just prior to the start being effected MYSTIGAN lunged at the gates and as a result of this sudden movement the barrier blanket became dislodged. Mr Goodwin pointed to the barrier blanket on the ground behind MYSTIGAN. When the gates opened Ms Waddell felt as if there was something holding her back. The Stewards said it was clear that MYSTIGAN’s back legs were tangled in the barrier blanket.

Mr Philips confirmed that the lunging movement caused the barrier blanket to come off. He was aware of this and asked the attendants behind the horse if the blanket was clear of MYSTIGAN’s hind legs. He received no indication from the staff that the blanket was in fact entangled in the hind legs. As the horse was standing quietly, and without any feedback from the attendants, Mr Philips believed it was safe to let the field go.

Ms Waddell told the Committee that prior to the start MYSTIGAN was kicking out at the back of the stalls. When she heard Mr Philips call out for the start she tried to urge her mount forward from the gates but felt as if something was holding her back. The horse stopped and she looked back to see what was going on.

Mr Gray said you could see on the video that the barrier blanket was entangled in the horse’s legs.

Reasons For Decision:

The Judicial Committee considered all submissions.

The head-on film confirmed that all starting gates opened in unison however MYSTIGAN was very slow away and it was evident that something was amiss with her hindlegs. After hearing from the rider Ms Waddell, and Mr Philips, we were satisfied that the barrier blanket had hampered her start with the result being that MYSTIGAN lost several lengths.

The Committee was satisfied that MYSTIGAN was denied a fair start and as a result had its chances affected.


Accordingly we declared MYSTIGAN a non-runner.

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