Auckland RC 1 January 2022 – R 9 – Protest – MALI STON
Auckland Racing Club
Ellerslie Racecourse - 100 Ascot Ave, Ellerslie, Auckland, 1050
Ellerslie - Auckland RC
Outcome: Protest Dismissed
Penalty: Dismissed and placings stand
Following the running of Race number 9, the Group 2 Rich Hill Mill, an Information was filed Instigating a Protest pursuant to Rule 642(1) by Connections of the second placed horse MAI TAI alleging interference in the final straight by the first placed horse MALI STON.
The Applicant, Mr J Richards (Trainer of MAI TAI) alleged that horse number 14 (MALI STON) placed 1st by the Judge interfered with the chances of horse number 7 (MAI TAI) placed 2nd by the Judge.
The interference was alleged to have occurred in the final straight over the concluding stages of the race.
The Judge’s ‘provisional placings were as follows:
1st – MALI STON
2nd – MAI TAI
3rd – DRAGON QUEEN
4th – TIME TO CELEBRATE
The official margin between first and second was a nose.
Rule 642(1) provides:
“If a placed horse or its rider causes interference within the meaning of this rule 642 to another placed horse, and the Judicial Committee is of the opinion that the horse so interfered with would have finished ahead of the first mentioned horse had such interference not occurred, they may place the first mentioned horse immediately after the horse interfered with”.
The standard of proof is on the balance of probabilities. In thoroughbred racing this standard is reached when the Adjudicative Committee is satisfied, on the basis of credible evidence, that the requirements of the Protest Rule have been met.
Submissions For Decision
Prior to hearing submissions from the respective parties, the Adjudicative Committee requested that Stewards show all available race films of the alleged interference and identify the runners. Stipendiary Steward, Mr B Jones showed head and side-on films. The rear view was also shown but they were of limited valued due to the camera being distracted as a result of a fall that had occurred in the run up the home straight.
On behalf of the Applicant, Mr Richards submitted that MAI TAI was doing its best to maintain a straight line in the run up the straight. He said that MALI STON shifted out on to MAI TAI and although there was no contact; MAI TAI was shifted 3 horse widths wider on the track and would have won the race.
Mr Goindasamy, the Rider of MAI TAI, submitted that he was trying to keep his mount going in a straight line, and was responding well until MALI STON dictated his horse out wider. He said he would otherwise have won the race.
Mr D Weatherley, the Trainer of MALI STON submitted that his horse came from behind MAI TAI and did run out under pressure. He added there was no contact and he did not think that, but for the outward movement, the result would have been any different.
Mr S Weatherley, Rider of MALI STON submitted that he came from a long way back in the running and was never in the finish until very close to the winning post. He said that that neither Rider stopped ridding and the better horse won what was a close finish.
Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr Oatham provided his interpretation of the closing stages of the race. He submitted, using the back straight camera, that MALI STON has made up considerable distance on MAI TAI. Referring to the head-on camera he said that in the last 100 metres MALI STON has commenced to shift out, but the films clearly show that there was no contact between the two horses, albeit they got close in the final 3 strides. He also submitted that MAI TAI shied away, but nevertheless was entitled to a clear run. He said that the Stewards view is that given the circumstances the status quo should remain.
Reasons For Decision
In accordance with the requirements of the Protest Rule the Adjudicative Committee must firstly establish that interference occurred; and secondly, if interference is established, the horse interfered with would have beaten the other runner, had such interference not occurred.
After hearing submissions and reviewing the video footage the Committee established that although MAI TAI was dictated wider on the track, the incident was so close to the finish that the Committee had some doubt that but for any interference MAI TAI would have beaten MAL STON. In reaching that conclusion the Committee noted that although MALI STON commenced to shift outward inside the final 100 metres it was only 2 or three strides prior to the winning post that MAI TAI was inconvenienced. It is also of some relevance that MAI TAI did lay out on its own accord at least twice in the run up the home straight.
The Committee is satisfied that MALI STON did interfere with the chances of MAI TAI by forcing that runner over extra ground, but having considered the degree and nature of the interference; and importantly that it occurred so close to the finish, the Committee is of the opinion that it cannot be comfortably satisfied that but for the interference, MAI TAI would have beaten MALI STON.
On that basis, in the exercise of our discretion, the protest is dismissed.
The protest was dismissed and the Judges provisional placings stand. The Adjudicative Committee authorised the payment of stakes and dividends in accordance with its decision.
Decision Date: 01/01/2022
Publish Date: 02/01/2022