Hawke’s Bay RI 14 October 2023 – R1 – TOWER FLYPASSS
Hawkes Bay Race Club
Hastings Racecourse - 200 Prospect Road, Hastings, 4122
Outcome: Protest Dismissed
Following the running of Race No.1, an Information was filed Instigating a Protest pursuant to Rule 642(1). The Applicant, Mr Guy Lowry, alleged that horse number 3 (TOWER FLYPASS) placed 1st equal by the Judge interfered with the chances of horse number 9 (GRID GIRL) placed 3rd by the Judge.
The interference was alleged to have occurred in the final 150m.
The Judge’s provisional placings were as follows:
1st = – No. 1 CANNON HILL
1st= – No. 3 TOWER FLYPASS
3rd – No. 9 GRID GIRL
4th – No. 5 LEROY BROWN
The official margin between 1st = and 3rd was ¾ length
Rule 642(1) provides:
“If a placed horse or its rider causes interference within the meaning of this rule 642 to another placed horse, and the Judicial Committee is of the opinion that the horse so interfered with would have finished ahead of the first mentioned horse had such interference not occurred, they may place the first mentioned horse immediately after the horse interfered with”.
Submissions For Decision
Prior to hearing submissions from the respective parties, the Adjudicative Committee requested that Stewards show all available race films of the alleged interference and identify the runners.
Mr Grylls and Mr Lowry (Rider and Trainer respectively of GRID GIRL) protested on the grounds that TOWER FLYPASS, beginning from the top of the straight, came off the fence 5-6 horse widths hampering the chances of GRID GIRL who was attempting a run down the outside of that runner. Mr Grylls explained that each time he came up alongside the flank of TOWER FLYPASS he was forced to steady and then in the last 3-4 strides prior to the finish he had to take a hold. Mr Lowry believed GRID GIRL was denied a fair chance of winning the race, and would have done so had TOWER FLYPASS run straight.
Mr Kennedy doubted whether Mr Grylls would have made up the 3/4 length margin, and Mr Marsh argued the result should stand as the interference to GRID GIRL occurred only 3 strides from the line and was too close to the finish to affect the placings.
Stipendiary Steward, Mr Oatham outlined the Stewards interpretation of the alleged interference and said in his opinion the protest had some merit.
Reasons For Decision
In accordance with the requirements of the Protest Rule the Adjudicative Committee must firstly establish that interference occurred; and secondly, if interference is established, the horse interfered with would have beaten the other runner, had such interference not occurred.
Upon careful consideration of submissions and a thorough review of video footage, the Adjudicative Committee found that TOWER FLYPASS commenced a gradual shift outward from around the 150-metre mark, dictating the line of GRID GIRL who was racing in behind. In the moments just prior to the finish line, TOWER FLYPASS moved out more abruptly, leading to Mr Grylls having to restrain GRID GIRL.
The Adjudicative Committee is satisfied that TOWER FLYPASS did interfere with the chances of GRID GIRL however the initial movement outwards was gradual and the most significant interference, where Mr Grylls had to check, was only a few strides short of the post. Considering the margin of ¾ length and the manner in which both horses were finishing the race the Adjudicative Committee has some doubt that GRID GIRL would have finished ahead of TOWER FLYPASS had the interference not occurred.
In the exercise of Adjudicative Committee’s discretion, and based on this uncertainty, the protest is dismissed, and the official race results shall remain unchanged.
Accordingly, the protest is dismissed, and the Judges placings stand.
The Adjudicative Committee authorised the payment of dividends and stake money in accordance with the decision.
Decision Date: 14/10/2023
Publish Date: 16/10/2023