Auckland TC 31 August 2023 – R3 – Brent Mangos
TWO EYE SEE
Auckland Trotting Club
Alexandra Park - Cnr Greenlane West & Manukau Road Greenlane, Auckland, 1051
Penalty: Driver Brent Mangos suspended 3 days
Summary of Facts:
Following the running of Race 3, the Respondent, Driver Mr Brent Mangos admitted a breach of Whip Rule 869(2). The particulars of the charge were that the Respondent used his whip with more than a wrist flicking motion in the run home.
The Respondent confirmed his admission of the Rule.
Rule 869 provides that:
(2) No driver shall during any race use a whip in a manner in contravention of the Use of the Whip Regulations made by the Board.
Senior Stipendiary Steward Mr Mulcay used available video footage to demonstrate the breach. He pointed out TWO EYE SEE (B Mangos) who was searching for a run wide out on the track in the run up the home straight. He said that over the concluding stages of the race when challenging for the lead, Mr Mangos used his whip with more than a wrist flicking motion i.e., by engaging his shoulder, for more than 50 metres – (approximately 70 metres). TWO EYE SEE finished in second place.
In response, the Respondent had nothing further to add.
The charge is admitted and therefore proved.
Submissions For Penalty:
Mr Mulcay advised that Mr Mangos has one previous breach of the Whip Rule(s) in the past six-months. This occurred on 25 March 2023 at Alexandra Park in a Group Race where Mr Mangos used his whip in a continuous manner resulting in a 5 day suspension.
Mr Mulcay raised a query as to whether different categories of whip breaches could or should be treated separately for the purpose of assessing penalty. i.e., should a previous breach involving, for example more than wrist flicking, loose reining, continuous etc., be treated as separate and distinct categories within the Penalty Guide framework. After some discussion, the Adjudicative Committee took the view that a previous breach within each whip category should be treated as a previous offence for the purpose of penalty setting (see further discussion under reasons for penalty).
On that basis, Mr Mulcay said that Stewards assessed this breach to be mid-level, and submitted that the Penalty Guide, with regards to a second breach within the 6 month reset period, recommends a 4 day suspension.
The Respondent did not seek a deferment to any proposed suspension and did not offer any submissions as to penalty.
Reasons For Penalty:
After consideration of the evidence presented and after reviewing the race films of the concluding stages of the race, the Adjudicative Committee assessed the breach as being between low and mid-level. This is because although Mr Mangos used his whip in more than a wrist flicking motion for more than 50 metres, it was not continuous use and there was a brief pause in his use.
- Low-level is defined as when a driver inadvertently reverts to the old style (freehand, loose reining and/or more than a flicking motion) but promptly takes corrective steps to return to a compliant style.
- Mid-level offending is defined as when a driver inadvertently reverts to the old style (freehand, loose reining and/or more than a flicking motion) and continues to drive in this manner for some distance (50 metres) before taking corrective steps to return to a compliant style of driving.
In circumstances of a low-level second breach, the Penalty Guide recommends a 3 day suspension; and a 4 day suspension for a mid-level breach. On this occasion there are no particular aggravating or mitigating factors to consider. As highlighted earlier in this Decision, the Adjudicative Committee has assessed this breach as Mr Mangos’ second within the 6 month reset period. This is because, unlike Thoroughbred Racing Whip Rules where there is a distinction between excessive whip use and continuous use, the Harness Racing NZ Whip Regulations make no distinction between categories of whip breaches in terms of penalties. Moreover, the RIB Penalty Guide specifically groups together the categories of whip use – more than wrist flicking motion; free of the rein, loose reining, and continuous use – for the purpose of setting penalties. In effect, they are viewed as being part of the same ‘family’ of whip offences. There is also precedent for repeat offences across different whip breach categories to be grouped as ‘repeats’ for the purpose of penalty setting.
Accordingly, a 3 day suspension is imposed. It should be noted that due to the limited number of driving opportunities for Northern Drivers, this equates to a period of 4 weeks before Mr Mangos can resume race driving.
Driver, Mr Mangos’ Licence to drive in races is suspended for 3 Northern Days, from the conclusion of racing on 31 August 2023 until after racing on 22 September 2023 (inclusive).
Decision Date: 31/08/2023
Publish Date: 01/09/2023