Ashburton TC 11 January 2022 – R8 – Lionel Dobbs

ID: RIB6981

Respondent(s):
Lionel Dobbs - Driver

Applicant:
Nigel McIntyre, Manager of Stewards

Adjudicators:
Russell McKenzie

Persons Present:
Mr McIntyre and Paul Williams, Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:
A16742

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Forcing another runner to contact track marker

Rule(s):
869(7A)(c)

Plea:
Admitted

Animal Name:
Majestic Rose

Code:
Harness

Race Date:
11/01/2022

Race Club:
Ashburton Trotting Club

Race Location:
Ashburton Racecourse - Racecourse Road, Ashburton, 7700

Race Number:
R8

Hearing Date:
11/01/2022

Hearing Location:
Ashburton Raceway, Ashburton

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Lionel Dobbs fined $250

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Following the running of Race 8, Grice Family Handicap Trot, the Respondent, Lionel Dobbs, admitted a breach of Rule 869(7A)(c). The particulars of the charge are that he shifted his runner, MAJESTIC ROSE, inwards near the 1900 metres placing TAKE AFTER ME (Blair Orange) and HANOVER DA MOON (J R Dunn) in restricted room resulting in TAKE AFTER ME being forced over pylons.

Rule 869 provides:

(7A)  Every driver who moves inwards shall ensure:

(c)  that the movement does not cause any other driver, horse or sulky to contact any track marker or protrude inside the marker line.

Mr Dobbs had signed the Statement by the Respondent on the Information form indicating that the breach was admitted. Mr McIntyre explained to the Adjudicative Committee that the incident was discussed with Mr Dobbs prior to the charge being laid and an indication of the proposed penalty submission was given to him. He admitted the breach and asked that his attendance at the hearing be waived as he had to leave the course. At the Stewards’ request, the Adjudicative Committee waived Mr Dobbs’ attendance in the circumstances.

Manager of Stewards, Nigel McIntyre, had Stipendiary Steward, Paul Williams, use available video footage to identify the horses involved in the incident – MAJESTIC ROSE, driven by the Respondent, HANOVER DA MOON (John Dunn) and TAKE AFTER ME (Blair Orange). Mr McIntyre said that, approaching the bend into the home straight for the first time (after approximately 500 metres), RED HARBOUR (Craig Thornley)  was improving 4-wide around Mr Dobbs who was in the 3-wide line at that point. Directly inside Mr Dobbs was HANOVER DA MOON, and TAKE AFTER ME was on the inside of that runner, against the markers.

Stewards were alleging that Mr Dobbs had not given the two runners on his inside enough room when attempting to shift inwards onto the back of Mr Thornley, Mr McIntyre said. He pointed out the head of Mr Dobbs’ runner turned inwards. As the field progressed around the bend, Mr Dobbs continued his inwards movement resulting in Mr Dunn racing 1 1/2 widths off the markers and Mr Orange in a half space and inside the markers. Mr Dobbs had relieved the pressure once he realised, but that was “too little, too late”, Mr McIntyre said.

DECISION:

The charge is admitted by the Respondent and is therefore deemed proved.

SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:

Mr McIntyre produced Mr Dobbs’ record – 96 raceday drives, this being his first this season, and 26 in the extended 2020/2021 season.

Mr McIntyre submitted that the consequential effects of the breach were slight, as Mr Orange was able to settle back into his position.

This starting point for penalty is a fine of $300. Mr Dobbs has a clear record under the Rule. The breach was at the lower end and Stewards were recommending a fine of $200–$250, Mr McIntyre said. Although Mr Dobbs has a clear record, had it not been for the two experienced Drivers involved, the consequences could have been a lot worse, Mr McIntyre said.

REASONS FOR PENALTY:

The Penalty Guide provides a penalty starting point of a $300 fine.

After taking into account the submissions of the Applicant, noting the video replays and the resultant impact on the affected runners, the Adjudicative Committee assessed the breach as medium and adopted the Penalty Guide starting point of $300. The Respondent was given credit for his good record and his admission of the breach, resulting in a $50 reduction from the starting point.

After evaluating all of the factors, the Adjudicative Committee determined a fine of $250 as an appropriate penalty in the circumstances of this case.

CONCLUSION:

The Respondent, Lionel Dobbs, is fined the sum of $250.

Decision Date: 11/01/2022

Publish Date: 13/01/2022