Canterbury JC 20 January 2022 – R8 – Akshay Balloo
Canterbury Jockey Club
Riccarton Park - 165 Racecourse Road, Christchurch,
Riccarton Park, Christchurch
Penalty: Rider, Akshay Balloo suspended 7 days
Following the running of Race 8, Racecourse Hotel & Motor Lodge Rating 65, Jockey, Akshay Balloo admitted a charge of careless riding which was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d). The Information alleged that, as the Rider of AMAZON GODDESS, he angled his mount inwards crowding and buffeting MISTLETOE (Chris Johnson) and MAIDINTHEMIST (Rohan Mudhoo) passing the 1400 metres, hampering CHEEKINI (Diego Montes de Oca) as a result.
The Respondent acknowledged that 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 video replays, Mr Oatham had Stipendiary Steward, Mark Davidson, point out the runners involved shortly after the start of the 1600 metres race. AMAZON GODDESS, ridden by Mr Balloo, had drawn barrier 14, MISTLETOE barrier 10, MAIDINTHEMIST barrier 3 and CHEEKINI barrier 6.
Mr Davidson then pointed out the angle at which Mr Balloo had crossed from his wide gate and showed that the two runners on his inside were buffeted and crowded. Mr Balloo had angled his mount in, Mr Johnson was taken in, CHEEKINI was checked and it and MAIDINTHEMIST received buffeting and were forced inwards. It was the angle and speed at which Mr Balloo had travelled, Mr Davidson said. He demonstrated on the side-on video replay that Mr Balloo would have been no more than 3/4 length clear of Mr Johnson’s mount.
In response, Mr Balloo stated that his mare has a “soft mouth” and can be difficult to steer. He had not intended to cross so quickly but she overreacted and crossed quicker than he expected.
As the Respondent admitted the breach, the Committee finds the breach proved.
SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:
Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr Oatham, produced the Respondent’s riding record which indicated 3 previous breaches under the Careless Riding Rule in the last 12 months, namely:
30 January 2021 at Riccarton – mid-to-low range, suspended 4 days and fined $350;
6 March 2021 at Otago – mid-range, suspended 6 days and fined $350; and
20 May 2021 at Timaru – low-to-mid range, suspended 5 days and fined $300.
The Respondent had 196 rides in the 2020/2021 season and in the current season to date has had 26 rides. It was 8 months since his last breach, Mr Oatham pointed out.
Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mr Oatham, said that Stewards assessed the level of carelessness as being “somewhere in the mid-range”. A suspension in line with the Penalty Guidelines was an appropriate penalty, he submitted.
The Respondent advised of riding engagements through until 29 January and sought a deferment to any proposed suspension.
REASONS FOR PENALTY:
After considering all submissions, the Committee determined the Respondent Mr Balloo’s carelessness to be just above mid-level and adopted an 8 day suspension as the starting point. This conforms with the NZTR Penalty Guide (as of 1 September 2021), which suggests a starting point for a mid-level breach of a 7-day suspension.
The available video replays clearly established that Mr Balloo had angled his mount across from a wide barrier draw, forcing Mr Johnson’s mount inwards with two other runners on Mr Johnson’s inner being buffeted and checked. It was Mr Balloo’s clear obligation to take care to prevent his mount from crossing as quickly as it did, and he was guilty of riding carelessly in this respect.
The Respondent’s riding record is treated as a neutral factor, giving him credit for having no breaches in the past 8 months, and a 1-day reduction was applied to the 8-day starting point for his admission of the breach.
After consideration of the above factors, a 7-day suspension is imposed.
The Respondent’s request for a deferment is granted and his Licence to ride in races is suspended for a period of 7 national riding days commencing after racing on 29 January 2022 and concluding after racing on 10 February 2022.
Decision Date: 20/01/2022
Publish Date: 24/01/2022