Auckland RC 26 December 2021 – R9 – Vinnie Colgan

ID: RIB6624

Vinnie Colgan - Jockey

Mr J Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward

Mr G R Jones and Mr B Scott

Persons Present:
Mr V Colgan – (Rider of TWO ILLICIT), Mr Oatham, Mr M Williamson

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Riding

638(1)(d) - Riding/driving infringement - Careless riding


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Auckland Racing Club

Race Location:
Ellerslie Racecourse - 100 Ascot Ave, Ellerslie, Auckland, 1050

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Ellerslie - Auckland RC

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Mr Colgan is suspended for 11 (National Days) and fined $500


Following the running of Race 9, the Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic, Group 1, ($240,000), Class A Rider, Vinnie Colgan admitted a careless riding charge that was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d).

The Applicant, Mr Oatham, alleged that V Colgan (TWO ILLICIT) permitted his mount to shift in near the 1800 metres when not sufficiently clear of AEGON which was dictated into the line of COMMUNIQUE which was checked.

Mr Colgan acknowledged he understood the Rule and confirmed his admission of the breach.

Rule 638(1) (d) provides: A Rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Adjudicative Committee considers to be careless.

Using the available race films Senior Stipendiary Steward, Mr Williamson demonstrated the incident and identified the horses and Riders concerned; namely TWO ILLICIT (V Colgan), AEGON (L Innes) and COMMUNIQUE (Grylls).

Mr Williamson told the Adjudicative Committee that the incident occurred near the 1800 metre mark after the field jumped from the 2000 metre start.  He pointed out that after the start Mr Colgan permitted his mount to shift inwards when not sufficiently clear of AEGON which was on his inside and had begun poorly.  As a result, AEGON, who subsequently shifted up inside of TWO ILLICIT, was forced inwards crowding COMMUNIQUE which was placed in to restricted room and checked near the 1800 metres.   HOUSE OF CARTIER was also hampered.

Mr Williamson said that a mitigating factor in Mr Colgan’s favour was that he was not aware that AEGON kicked up on his inside as he shifted inwards.  He added, notwithstanding,  the shift resulted in runners being checked due to Mr Colgan not more than one length clear when he shifted.

In response, Mr Colgan stated that when he made the initial shift, he was clear of AEGON, but that horse shifted up inside as he was completing the inward movement.


As Mr Colgan admitted the breach the Adjudicative Committee found the charge proved.

Submission for Penalty:

Mr Oatham produced Mr Colgan’s riding record which indicated 6 previous breaches under the Careless Riding Rule in the last 12 months.

18/12/21 at Te Rapa – 6 day suspension

18/09/21 at Hastings – 7 day suspension + $350

29/05/21 at Ellerslie – 4 day suspension + $350

07/03/21 at Ellerslie – 4 day suspension + $300

16/01/21 at Wellington 7 day suspension

26/12/20 at Ellerslie – 4 day suspension + $600

Mr Oatham said that the suspension incurred on 18 December was deferred and commences after the completion of today’s racing (26/12/21 to close of racing on 2 January 2022).  He pointed out that the breach on Boxing Day last year resets today so this breach is in fact Mr Colgan’s sixth breach within the 12-month reset period.  He said Mr Colgan has a poor record.

Mr Oatham said Stewards assessed the level of carelessness to be in the mid to low range, adding that the fact that AEGON improved to his inside was a mitigating factor.

He said an aggravating factor was the breach occurred in a Group 1 Race with stakes of $240,000.  Mr Colgan’s mount finished third and his share of the stake money was about $1000.

Mr Colgan offered no submissions as to penalty.

Reasons for Penalty:

After considering the submissions and reviewing the Race films the Adjudicative Committee assessed Mr Colgan’s level of carelessness to be in the mid-range and adopted a 7-day suspension as the starting point. This is in conformity with the NZTR Penalty Guide.

The available films clearly established that Mr Colgan allowed his mount to shift in when no more than 1  length clear.  It is apparent that he did glance inwards before shifting and he may not have been aware that AEGON was about to kick up on his inside.  However, the consequences of his shift were that three runners were hampered and their chances were affected to varying degrees, with COMMUNIQUE being the most severely checked.

Aggravating factors are that this breach occurred in a Group 1 Race with stakemoney of $240,000 and there three runners impacted.

Rule 920(2) empowers a Committee in imposing a penalty to have due regard to such matters as it considers appropriate including: (a) the Status of the Race; (b) the stake payable in respect of the Race; (c) any consequential effects upon any person or horse as a result of the breach of the Rule; and/or (d) the need to maintain integrity and public confidence in racing.  On that basis given this was a Group 1 Race with significant stake money a 3-day uplift, plus $500 fine, is applied to the 7-day starting point.

Mr Colgan’s riding record is very poor, this being his sixth careless riding breach in 12 months. This is another aggravating factor for which a further 1-day uplift is applied to the starting point and no reduction is given for his guilty plea.

Therefore, in accordance with Rule 920(2) the Committee imposed an 11-day (suspension) and $500 fine.  This is the combined effect of the status, the stakes, the consequences and Mr Colgan’s very poor record.

There are no sufficiently compelling mitigating factors to enable a reduction to be applied.


Mr Colgan’s Licence to ride in races is suspended for a period of 11 days commencing after racing on 2 January 2022  (this being when his previous suspension concludes), until after racing on 20 January 2022.  In addition, a $500 fine is imposed.

Decision Date: 26/12/2021

Publish Date: 27/12/2021