Banks Peninsula TC 21 November 2022 – R2 – Craig Thornley

ID: RIB13180

Craig Thornley - Driver

Paul Williams, Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless driving striking a wheel

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


Animal Name:
Eastwood Dream


Race Date:

Race Club:
Banks Peninsula Trotting Club

Race Location:
Addington Raceway - 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, 8024

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Addington Raceway, Christchurch

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver, Craig Thornley, fined $300


Following the running of Race 2, McArthur Ridge Tor Pinot – Triple Trophy Mobile Pace, the Respondent Driver, Craig Thornley, admitted a breach of Rule 869(3)(b) in that, as the Driver of EASTWOOD DREAM in the race, he drove carelessly near the 300 metres when striking the wheel of OLIVIA’S STAR resulting in his horse breaking with trailing runners being hampered.

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.


Stipendiary Steward, Paul Williams, showed a video replay of the incident near the 300 metres. He pointed out EASTWOOD DREAM, driven by the Respondent, racing three places back on the markers as the field approached the 300 metres. OLIVIA’S STAR, driven by Colin DeFilippi, was racing in front of that runner in the one-out, one-back position. Mr Williams submitted that Mr Thornley attempted to shift out into a gap that did not appear. He said that it appeared that Mr DeFilippi attempted to move out but was unable to do so, by which time the Respondent had advanced and his runner had made contact with the sulky wheel of OLIVIA’S STAR. The Respondent’s runner galloped and went back, resulting in several other runners being hampered, Mr Williams said.

Mr Thornley said that Mr DeFilippi was trying to get his horse out but couldn’t do so. He said that there was enough room for his own horse, but not enough for the horse and sulky. He had anticipated a gap eventuating, he said.


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


Stipendiary Steward, Paul Williams said that the Respondent has had 250 drives this season and in the extended 2020/2021 he had 574 drives. He has a clear record for all charges.

Mr Williams referred to the Penalty Guide. The starting point is a fine of $300 or a 6-drives suspension, he said. The Respondent has admitted the breach, but an aggravating factor is that six other runners have been hampered.

The Respondent said that he had come out “one stride too early”.


The Penalty Guide starting point for careless driving striking a wheel is a fine of $300 or a 6-drives suspension.

The Respondent has made a very frank admission of the breach and has a very  good record. Balancing those factors against the aggravating factor referred to by Mr Williams, the Penalty Guide starting point of a $300 fine is an appropriate penalty. A suspension is not appropriate.


The Respondent, Driver Craig Thornley, is fined $300.

Decision Date: 21/11/2022

Publish Date: 23/11/2022