Auckland TC 4 November 2022 – R4 – Mark Hurrell
Auckland Trotting Club
Alexandra Park - Cnr Greenlane West & Manukau Road Greenlane, Auckland, 1051
Penalty: Junior Driver Mark Hurrell suspended 2 days
Summary of Facts:
Following the running of Race 4, the Respondent Mark Hurrell admitted a breach of Rule 869(3)(b); namely that he allowed his runner to shift in passing the 1800m when not sufficiently clear of PACING HOPE, resulting in that horse galloping and checking trailing runners.
The Respondent endorsed the Information ‘I do admit the breach of the Rule’ and confirmed he understood the Rule and the nature of the charge.
Rule 869(3)(b) provides:
No Driver in any race shall drive carelessly.
Using available video footage, Stipendiary Steve Mulcay identified the horses involved in the incident namely, MIDFREW LUCRE driven by M Hurrell and PACING HOPE driven by Alicia Harrison. Mr Mulcay said that as the horses passed the winning post on the first occasion MIDFREW LUCRE was to the outside and in front of PACING HOPE and looking to cross to the lead. He said the Driver of PACING HOPE was looking to restrain her horse to take a trailing position, when Mr Hurrell shifted down to the rail when insufficiently clear of PACING HOPE, causing it to gallop. He said at the time PACING HOPE was over racing.
In explanation, Mr Hurrell said he felt he was almost clear when he shifted down and that the Driver of PACING HOPE was struggling to hold her horse. He thought that perhaps it hunted up onto his wheel as he crossed, and any interference was marginal.
The charge is admitted by the Respondent and is therefore deemed proved.
Submission for Penalty:
Stipendiary Steward Mr Mulcay produced Mr Hurrell’s record which was clear. The Respondent has had 301 drives this season. He advised that Mr Hurrell was a very active Driver in both Islands.
The Stewards did not indicate their assessment of the breach in terms of level of interference, but indicated that a penalty in line with the Penalty Guidelines would be appropriate.
The Respondent submitted that he would like to defer any proposed suspension until after racing on the 11th of November.
Reasons for Penalty:
The Penalty Guide provides a penalty starting point of a 10 drive suspension or a $500 fine.
The Adjudicative Committee identified that Mr Hurrell was careless when shifting down to the rail, having not cleared the horse to his inside PACING HOPE. As a result, PACING HOPE galloped and went back onto the trailing runner VOODOO PRINCE, which in turn checked BUGALUGS, which galloped for a few strides.
After taking into account the submissions of both the Applicant and Respondent; noting the race film and the resultant impact on the affected runner(s), the Adjudicative Committee assessed the breach as just above low range as 3 horses were affected to varying degrees.
In mitigation was Mr Hurrell’s admission of the breach and good record.
After evaluating all of the factors, the Adjudicative Committee determined a 2 day suspension to be an appropriate penalty in the circumstances of this case.
The Respondent was granted a deferment and his licence suspended commencing after racing on 11th November until after the 16th of November.
Manawatu on the 15th of November was not included as Mr Hurrell, acknowledged he would not be driving there.
Decision Date: 04/11/2022
Publish Date: 07/11/2022