Canterbury JC 12 November 2022 (Request for a Ruling) – Michael McNab and Others
Canterbury Jockey Club
Riccarton Park - 165 Racecourse Road, Christchurch,
Riccarton Park, Christchurch
Racing on the 3rd Day of the Meeting of Canterbury JC at Riccarton Park, Christchurch, on Saturday, 12 November, was abandoned following the running of Race 3, due to concerns over the condition of the track. The remaining nine races have been rescheduled to be run on Monday, 14 November.
The abovenamed Respondent Jockeys, were all subject to various terms of suspension to commence after racing on 12 November.
The Applicant, Chief Stipendiary Steward, John Oatham, has filed an Information requesting a ruling from this Adjudicative Committee “as to whether four Riders (the abovenamed Respondents) who were due to commence periods of suspension at the conclusion of racing on Saturday, 12 November, be permitted to fulfil engagements in Races from that day postponed to Monday, 14 November”.
Rule 918 provides:
(1) The following persons may file an information to which there is no defendant, but which seeks a ruling from the Adjudicative Committee on a matter referred to in the information:
(a) a Stipendiary Steward
SUBMISSIONS FOR RULING:
Chief Stipendiary Steward, John Oatham, referred to the remaining nine races on the race day on 12 November being “postponed” and rescheduled to to be raced on 14 November. He said that Mr Aidan Rodley, Rider Agent for Jockey Michael McNab, initially raised the question with him as to the effect of the postponement on the suspension of Mr McNab and, in particular, whether Mr McNab would be permitted to fulfil his remaining riding engagements, from that day, on 14 November. Since then, Mr Oatham said, he has received numerous enquires from other Riders and connections. The Rules do not provide for such a situation as this, he said. A ruling was sought from the Adjudicative Committee as to whether the four Respondents were to be permitted to fulfil their riding engagements for the remaining races to be run on 14 November.
The “deferment Rule”, Rule 1106(2), was introduced for the benefit of connections and to protect them from losing their Rider close to a race day and being disadvantaged in having a limited pool of Riders available to them, Mr Oatham said. He said that the suspension of Jockeys, Mr Chowdhoory, Ms Wynne and Ms Taylor, had only been imposed on 10 November, and it is perhaps an option, if permitted by the Rules, to amend the start date of their suspension under that Rule. This was not so in the case of Mr McNab, who received a 5 national riding days suspension on 2 November to commence on 13 November, he said.
Mr Aidan Rodley said that he wished to protect the Trainers and Owners of the horses that his client, Mr McNab, has been engaged to ride. In the case of his mount, STARRYBEEL, in the New Zealand Cup, a $300,000 Race, Mr McNab was booked to ride the horse back in September. The horse is currently the favourite for the Race. He opposed the idea that the deferment periods of the other Respondents be amended, as this was not an option in the case of his client. Mr McNab had started his suspension today, being unable to ride at the meeting at Hastings today. He submitted that the resumed meeting on 14 November would still be the same “meeting”. Mr McNab is the country’s leading Rider and it is important to connections that he be available to ride their horse, especially in the Group Races, having been engaged to do so. Mr McNab also has an engagement to ride in the Group 1, 1000 Guineas, Mr Rodley said.
Mr Rodley said that, of the nine runners in the 1000 Guineas, one Joshua Parr has now returned to Australia and Jockeys, Mr Chowdhoory and Ms Wynne, also have rides in that Race. This would leave four of the nine runners in that prestige event without Riders at a very late stage, he said.
The Adjudicative Committee enquired of the Respondents how many rides each has in the remaining nine Races. Ms Wynne has a full book, Mr Chowdhoory has 7 rides and Ms Taylor has 6 rides.
Finally, Mr Rodley said that it would be a “common sense” decision, in the best interests of everyone, to permit each of the Riders to complete the race day that each had started.
Mr Andrew Carston said that, to have to replace these Riders, and Joshua Parr, will be difficult given the size of some of the fields. The Adjudicative Committee noted that there are five races with 16 or more runners. He also submitted that the meeting on 12 November had not been concluded. He pointed out that the Respondents, other than Mr McNab, had taken deferments on the 2nd day of the meeting, until after Saturday, for a good reason. It is the biggest day of their racing season. Between them, they have a lot of rides, he said.
Ms Wynne said she agreed with what Mr Rodley had said and said it would mean a lot to her to be to be able fulfil her engagements, and not let anyone down. Mr Chowdhoory had nothing to add.
Mr Jim Langan, said that the race day is being “resumed” on 14 November and referred to the comment of Mr Oatham that the intention of the deferment Rule is to protect connections. Owners would be punished along with the Riders, he submitted. To have to replace these Riders with “like for like” would not be possible. The position of the Club is that the Respondents should be permitted to fulfil their uncompleted engagements.
The Adjudicative Committee enquired of Mr Langan as to whether bets on the meeting would be refunded. He confirmed that this was the case. Mr Rodley said that it was his understanding that fixed odds and futures bets would not be refunded. Mr Langan told the Adjudicative Committee that the race day on 14 November would have a different Meeting Code with the remaining nine races to be renumbered 1 through 9. This does not, in any way mean, that it is a different Race Meeting for the purposes of this request for a ruling. It is purely a procedural requirement of the TAB, which is necessary and understandable.
REASONS FOR RULING:
The issue that has arisen as a result of the abandonment of the race day on Saturday, after just three races, and how it affects the positions of the four Riders due to commence periods of suspension after the race day, is not one that is covered under NZTR Rules of Racing. The Adjudicative Committee has been asked to determine the matter.
The Adjudicative Committee believes that there is some assistance in the Rules. The following definitions are provided in Rule 104:
”Race Meeting means any meeting conducted by a Club at which horse racing takes place, for which that club has a betting licence, and at which the Totalisator is in operation.”
“Race day means a day of a Race Meeting on which Races are held.”
Looking at those definitions of “Race Meeting” and “Race day”, the Adjudicative Committee finds the situation to be that the “Race Meeting”, in this case, comprises the three days of the Canterbury Jockey Club’s “New Zealand Cup Meeting”, as it is described in the official Race Card. That official Race Card describes the race day on Saturday as the “Third Day’”. It follows therefore, in the Adjudicative Committee’s opinion, that the “Race Meeting” does not conclude until after the remaining nine races on the “Third Day” are completed on 14 November. It is not a new “Race day” but completion of the original “Third Day”.
Each Respondent was permitted under the Rules to defer, and did defer, the commencement of his or her suspension until completion of his or her riding engagements on the Third Day of the Race Meeting. The deferments were requested in good faith and on good grounds and, it goes without saying, the situation arising from the abandonment of the final nine races on Saturday, and now reinstated, was not of their doing.
It was submitted to the Adjudicative Committee at the hearing the effect, not only on the Riders involved, but also Owners, Trainers and the betting public. This is an important consideration and the Adjudicative Committee has had regard to this in reaching its decision in this request for a ruling. To have to replace four Riders at this late stage for major Races would be almost chaotic and to the benefit of nobody.
CONCLUSION – RULING:
The Adjudicative Committee rules that each of the following Riders may fulfil riding engagements on the resumed Third Day of the Race Meeting of Canterbury Jockey Club on 14 November – Michael McNab, Kavish Chowdhoory, Samantha Wynne and Megan Taylor. Mr McNab’s suspension imposed at Avondale JC on 2 November, has already commenced, subject to this ruling, and will conclude after 19 November, as originally ordered. The periods of suspension in the case of the other three Riders will commence after racing on 14 November and conclude as follows – Kavish Chowdhoory after 24 November, Samantha Wynne after 23 November and Megan Taylor after 23 November. There are no changes to any of those dates.
Decision Date: 13/11/2022
Publish Date: 13/11/2022