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Taranaki TRI 23 July 2017 - R 7 (request for ruling) - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 27 July 2017

NMoffatt (chair)
Stipendiary Steward(s):
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Ms K Cowan - Rider of BRAD THORN, Mr B Clement - Official Starter
Information Number:

Following the running of Race 7, Revital Fertilisers 1400, the Stewards requested a ruling in relation to Rule 632(1) as to whether BRAD THORN was denied a fair start.

Rule 632 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 Breslin, the trainer of BRAD THORN, was unsaddling his horse following race 7 and could not attend the hearing however he communicated to the Stewards that he believed BRAD THORN had been denied a fair start.

Mr Goodwin played head and side-on videos of the start of the race. These showed BRAD THORN charging the gates just prior to the gates opening which resulted in the horse sitting back in the stall and being slow away.

Ms Cowan confirmed that her horse charged the gate and then went backwards. She said it felt like the gates had only half opened but after looking at the head-on view she could see that they clearly did open. After opening however the left hand side of the gates swung back on her horse.

Mr Clement, the official starter, said BRAD THORN had a history of playing up at the barrier and had been slow away on a previous occasion. In today’s incident he made his usual call out to the riders of “gates”. At the same time as he called BRAD THORN charged forward forcing his gate open. The horse then hesitated and was subsequently slow away.

Reasons For Decision:

The Judicial Committee carefully considered all of the submissions.

The head-on film showed that immediately prior to the start BRAD THORN charged the gates forcing his gate to open. The left hand side of the gate swung back, the horse went backwards, hesitated, and was slow away by several lengths.

In coming to a decision on the request for a ruling the Judicial Committee notes there was no mechanical failure of the starting gates and no outside reason why BRAD THORN was slow away. The horse simply anticipated the start, sat backwards and lost several lengths. We were satisfied that BRAD THORN was the author of his own misfortune and was slow away by its own accord.


We declared BRAD THORN to be a starter and dividends were directed to be paid accordingly.

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