Auckland TC 19 May 2023 – R8 – Maurice McKendry

ID: RIB21798

Maurice McKendry - Driver

Mr S Renault - Stipendiary Steward

G Jones and A Smith

Persons Present:
Mr Renault, Mr A Dooley, Mr McKendry

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless driving

869(3)(b) - Riding/driving infringement - Careless Driving


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Auckland Trotting Club

Race Location:
Alexandra Park - Cnr Greenlane West & Manukau Road Greenlane, Auckland, 1051

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Alexandra Park

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Maurice McKendry, suspended 5 days (Northern)

Summary of Facts:

Following the running of Race 8 the Lone Star NZ Sires Stakes 3YO Champs MBL Trot (Group 2), the Respondent Mr M McKendry, admitted a breach of Rule 869(3)(b); namely that “he allowed his runner to shift ground outwards near the 500 metres which resulted in CROWN THE MOMENT (T Herlihy) being checked and locking wheels with HALBERG, with the trailing runner also being checked”.   


The Respondent was present at the start of the hearing and endorsed the Information ‘I do admit the breach of the rule’ and confirmed he understood the nature of the charge. Mr McKendry, supported by the Stewards, sought to be excused from the remainder of the hearing as he had a colt tied up in the stalls that was playing up and required his immediate attention.  Before agreeing to this request, the Adjudicative Committee confirmed that Mr McKendry had viewed the race films of the incident and that he did not wish to make any submissions regarding the breach or as to penalty.  He sought a 7-day deferment to any proposed suspension to enable him to drive at the Auckland Cup Premier Meeting on 26 May 2023.

Rule 869(3)(b) provides:

No Driver in any race shall drive carelessly.

Using available video footage, Stipendiary Steward Mr Dooley identified the horses involved in the incident namely, HALBERG (M McKendry), CROWN THE MOMENT (T Herlihy) and IT AIN’T ME BABE (T Macfarlane).  Mr Dooley pointed out that at the 600 metres, HALBERG who was racing in the trail, was held up by the lead horse who commenced to weaken.  CROWN THE MOMENT was racing on the outer of HALBERG and IT AIN’T ME BABE, was racing behind HALBERG. Mr Dooley identified that Mr McKendry looked to get off the fence to avoid the weakened runner and nearing the 500 metres, he shifted out and in doing so, locked wheels with CROWN THE MOMENT, who was checked.  The trailing runner, IT AIN’T ME BABE, was also checked because of the incident.

No explanation was offered by Mr McKendry prior to his departure from the hearing.


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

Submission for Penalty:

Stipendiary Steward Mr Renault produced Mr McKendry’s record which indicated one previous breach of this Rule on 24 December 2023 at Waikato, which resulted in a 3-day suspension. Mr McKendry has had 92 drives since that breach.

Mr Renault submitted that the Penalty Guide provides for a 6-day suspension to be imposed for a second breach in a Group or Listed Race.  He said that Mr McKendry is a Northern based Driver.  He added that two horses were checked as a result of the breach and that it occurred in a Group 2 Race ($52,900 stake money). Mr Renault submitted that in this case, Stewards sought a 5 or 6-day suspension.

Reasons for Penalty:

The Penalty Guide provides a penalty starting point of a 6-day suspension.  This takes into account the fact that it is Mr McKendry’s second breach of the Rule within the reset period, and that the breach occurred in a Group 2 Race.

After considering the submissions of the Applicant, noting the race film and the resultant impact on the affected runner(s), the Adjudicative Committee assessed the breach as mid-range and adopted a 6-day suspension as the starting point. This conforms with the Penalty Guide.

Mr McKendry was given credit for his otherwise good record and admission of the breach, resulting in a 1-day reduction from the starting point.

After evaluating all the factors, the Adjudicative Committee determined a 5-day suspension to be an appropriate penalty in the circumstances of this case.


The Respondent, Mr McKendry was granted a 7-day deferment and his Licence suspended, commencing after racing on 26 May 2023 and concluding after racing on 29 June 2023 (5 Northern meetings).

Decision Date: 19/05/2023

Publish Date: 22/05/2023