Auckland TR 5 March 2022 – R9 – Leith Innes
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing
Ellerslie Racecourse - 100 Ascot Ave, Ellerslie, Auckland, 1050
Ellerslie - Auckland RC
Penalty: Class A Rider Leith Innes suspended 8 Days
Following the running of Race 9, the Group 1 Vodafone NZ Derby, the Respondent Class A Rider Leith Innes admitted a charge of careless riding which was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d). The Information alleged that L Innes directed his mount (MARCHAND) outwards when insufficiently clear, making contact with PINARELLO (J Riddell) for a distance, forcing that runner and ASTERIX (J Parkes) over extra ground passing the 800 metres.
Mr Innes 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 Stipendiary Steward, Mrs Selvakumaran, demonstrated the incident and identified the horses and Riders concerned; namely MARCHAND (L Innes), PINARELLO (J Riddell) and ASTERIX (J Parkes).
Mrs Selvakumaran told the Adjudicative Committee that passing the 800 metres, MARCHAND was racing two off the fence, inside of PINARELLO and ASTERIX was slightly behind. She said Mr Innes directed his mount outwards, when not clear, and made contact with PINARELLO. As a result, she said that both PINARELLO and ASTERIX were unnecessarily forced over extra ground. She said that at the time of the incident MARCHAND was barely a length clear. Using the ‘side’ and ‘turn’ camera angles Mrs Selvakumaran further reinforced the breach.
In response Mr Innes submitted that he gradually shifted out because it was necessary, for safety reasons, to avoid the heels of the runner in front of him (REGAL LION). He said that he thought that runners in front of him may come back on him and that’s why he shifted out. He added that after the shift he was surprised to find PINARELLO on his outer because that runner was originally racing on his inside. He said that the contact was the result of J Riddell trying to kept him in and the incident was no more than the result of competitive riding. Mr Innes concluded his submission by pointing out that the affected runners were not checked and neither lost any ground.
As Mr Innes admitted the breach the Adjudicative Committee found the charge proved.
Mr Oatham produced Mr Innes’ riding record which indicated 3 previous breaches under the Careless Riding Rule in the last 12 months; namely:
30/01/22 at Auckland TR, suspended 4 days
05/05/21 at Ruakaka, suspended 13 days for high end carelessness
11/04/21 at Pukekohe, suspended 4 days and fined $500.
Mr Oatham submitted that the breach was mid-range and two horses were affected. He asked the Adjudicative Committee to take into account the fact that the breach occurred in a Group 1 Race with a $1 million stake.
Mr Innes sought to defer any proposed suspension until after racing on the 13 March 2022. In terms of penalty, he said that as a result of his actions no runner had been checked or affected and it was “quite bizarre that he had been charged with being careless”.
Reasons for Penalty
After considering the submissions and reviewing the Race film the Adjudicative Committee determined Mr Innes’ carelessness to be in the low to mid-range and adopted a 6-day starting point. This conforms with the NZTR Penalty Guide (as of 1 March 2022).
The available films established that Mr Innes looked to ease his mount outwards and in doing so made contact with Mr Riddell’s mount for a few strides. The contact was not heavy and Mr Riddell, as he was entitled to do, held his ground. The films do show that MARCHAND was close to the heels of REGAL LION and Mr Innes had to make a choice as to whether he pulled back and eased or shifted out. He chose the latter which resulted in him shifting when not sufficiently clear. The consequence of this manoeuvre was that both PINARELLO and ASTERIX were forced over extra ground, (a little more than one horse width). ASTERIX went on and won the race.
This is Mr Innes’ 4th breach in 12 months. The Adjudicative Committee afforded Mr Innes a 1-day reduction from the 6-day starting point for his admission of the breach. However, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 920(2) which empowers an Adjudicative 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, an uplift is applied. In this case the Race is a Group I with stakes of $1 million. Accordingly, in recognition of the race status and stakes a 3-day uplift is applied to the starting point.
After considering the above factors the Adjudicative Committee considered that an appropriate suspension was 8 (national) days.
Accordingly, Mr Innes’ licence to ride in races is suspended for a period of 8 days commencing after racing on 13 March 2022 and concluding after racing on 27 March 2022.
Decision Date: 05/03/2022
Publish Date: 07/03/2022