Banks Peninsula TC 23 January 2022 – R7 – Ben Hope
Banks Peninsula Trotting Club
Motukarara Racecourse - 43 Duck Pond Road, Motukarara, 7672
Penalty: Junior Driver, Ben Hope suspended for 3 days
Summary of Facts:
Following the running of Race 7, the Respondent Mr Ben Hope, admitted a breach of Rule 869(3)(b); namely that he shifted inwards when not sufficiently clear of ROYAL JESTER which had to be restrained and broke checking the trailing CHANGEOVER JO which broke.
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. The Respondent was supported at the hearing by Open Driver, Mr Matthew Williamson.
Rule 869 (3)(b) provides:
No driver in any race shall drive carelessly.
Using available video footage Manager of Stewards, Mr Nigel McIntyre identified the horses involved in the incident namely, MICK BETH driven by Mr Hope and ROYAL JESTER driven by Mr Gerard O’Reilly. He said that Mr Hope had shifted inwards into a gap that was never available to him. He pointed to Mr Hope steering his horse outwards to relieve pressure but this was too late as the damage had been done. Mr McIntyre said the consequences were two horses lost their position and Mr Hope had gained a position he was not entitled to.
In explanation, the Respondent stated Mr O’Reilly had hunted up into the gap and at the same time he felt Mr John Dunn (SZYBKA LANE) had eased a little, tightening the available space.
Mr Williamson endorsed these factors had contributed to the incident.
The charge is admitted by the Respondent and is therefore deemed proved.
Submission for Penalty:
Manager of Stewards, Mr McIntyre produced the Respondent’s record which indicated a clear record. The Respondent has had 30 drives in the new season.
Mr McIntyre added that Stewards assessed the breach as low / mid-range and therefore a suspension of 3 days would be an appropriate penalty.
The Respondent submitted he would prefer a fine or a suspension/fine combination as a Penalty.
The Respondent sought a deferment to any proposed suspension.
Reasons for Penalty:
The Penalty Guide provides a penalty starting point of a 10 drive suspension or $500 fine.
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 medium and adopted a 4-day suspension as the starting point.
The Respondent was given credit for his good record and admission of the breach resulting in a 1-day reduction from the starting point.
After evaluating all of the factors the Adjudicative Committee determined a 3-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 30 January up to and including 7 February 2022.
Decision Date: 23/01/2022
Publish Date: 24/01/2022