Ashburton TC 16 January 2024 – R8 – BUILT FOR GLORY

ID: RIB37837

Ben Hope - Driver

Matt Sole - Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie

Persons Present:
The Applicant and Open Drivers Tim Williams and Ben Hope

Information Number:

Decision Type:

869(A)(2) - Other - Protest Rule


2nd v 1st

Animal Name:
Built For Glory


Race Date:

Race Club:
Ashburton Trotting Club

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

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Ashburton Racecourse, Ashburton

Outcome: Protest Dismissed

Penalty: N/A


Following the running of Race 11, Wattle Grove Farm Mobile Pace, an Information instigating a protest was filed by Stipendiary Steward, Matt Sole, alleging interference near the 75 metres when BUILT FOR GLORY (Tim Williams), placed 1st by the Judge, locked wheels with TREMENDOUS LOVER (Ben Hope), placed 2nd by the Judge.

The official placings were:

1st    6    Built For Glory

2nd   1   Tremendous Lover

3rd   10  Straight Flush

4th    4  Hayley’s Meddle

The Judge’s official margin between 1st and 2nd was a ½ neck.

Rule 869A provides as follows:

(2)     When a placed horse or its driver causes interference to another placed horse and the Adjudicative Committee is satisfied that the horse interfered with would have finished ahead of the horse that, or whose driver, caused the interference the Adjudicative Committee must, in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed, place the horse that, or whose driver, caused the interference immediately after the horse interfered with.


Stipendiary Steward, Matt Sole showed video replays of the final 200-300 metres of the race. He pointed out BUILT FOR GLORY, driven by Tim Williams, racing outside the leader as the field turned into the final straight. TREMENDOUS LOVER, driven by Ben Hope, was racing on its back. He then showed that BUILT FOR GLORY had taken the lead, racing down the straight, and was being challenged on its outside by TREMENDOUS LOVER.

At approximately the 75 metres, Mr Sole said, the sulkies of the two runners locked wheels, and the wheels remained locked for the remainder of the race. The wheel of TREMENDOUS LOVER had become locked inside the wheel of BUILT FOR GLORY, so Mr Hope could not progress forward. The Adjudicative Committee was required to determine whether the locking of wheels was the result of TREMENDOUS LOVER shifting in, or BUILT FOR GLORY shifting out, Mr Sole said.

Driver, Ben Hope, said that, but for the locking of wheels, he believed his horse was going to win the race, or go very close to doing so. He said that his horse had “run in a little bit”. Most of the shift had come from Mr Williams’ runner, he said, but his own runner had “got in a wee bit as well”.

Mr Williams made reference to two matters. Firstly, he said, when he cleared the lead horse at the top of the straight, his own horse was ducking in and he had to correct it, and swap hands with the whip. Secondly, as he straightened, he pulled the plugs and maintained a straight course, he said. Mr Hope had come across his back to get to that point. Mr Hope’s horse was on a loose rein and Mr Hope had not stopped driving it and, as he came up behind him, Mr Hope had run into the back of his wheel. Mr Williams said that he believed that he was still holding Mr Hope’s runner, which had shifted in. Mr Hope had driven his horse all the way up the straight, he said.

Mr Sole said that Mr Williams’ horse had not shifted out “massively” and, likewise, Mr Hope’s horse had shifted in, again not “massively”.


In considering the merits of the protest, the Adjudicative Committee needed, firstly, to consider whether interference had taken place by BUILT FOR GLORY, placed 1st to TREMENDOUS LOVER, placed 2nd, when those two runners locked wheels with approximately 75 metres to run. This was not clear-cut.

In considering that matter, it was necessary to determine the cause of the two horses locking wheels. Clearly, from the locking of wheels, BUILT FOR GLORY was leading at that point, and TREMENDOUS LOVER was coming from behind.

The Adjudicative Committee found that both runners were racing side-by-side, with BUILT FOR GLORY holding an advantage. The head-on video replay showed that that runner did shift out gradually and very marginally while, at the same time, TREMENDOUS LOVER, was shifting in, also very marginally. The incident was such that the Adjudicative Committee could not be satisfied that BUILT FOR GLORY was solely responsible for any interference. Blame for the locking of wheels could be apportioned, more or less, equally between the two runners.

Having determined that matter, it was not strictly necessary for the Adjudicative Committee to address the matter of whether, but for any interference, TREMENDOUS LOVER would have finished ahead of BUILT FOR GLORY. However, having regard to the proximity to the finishing line, the margin at the finish (a ½ neck) and that the winner appeared to be holding the runner up prior to the locking of wheels, the Adjudicative Committee could not have been satisfied concerning that matter.


The protest was dismissed. It was ordered that dividends and stakes be paid in accordance with the Judge’s official placings (as above).

Decision Date: 16/01/2024

Publish Date: 18/01/2024