Manawatu RC 16 June 2023 – R4 – NINJA TURTLE

ID: RIB23472

Jade Zuppicich - Trainer

Mr S Bergeson

N Moffatt

Persons Present:
Mr M Davidson - Stipendiary Steward, Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward, Mr T Dravitzki - Owner, Mr S Bergeson, Mr N Parmar, Ms C Butler, Mr J Zuppicich, Ms K Clapperton

Information Number:

Decision Type:

642(1) - Riding/driving infringement


3rd v 2nd

Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Manawatu Race Club

Race Location:
Awapuni Racing Centre - 67 Racecourse Road, Awapuni, Palmerston North, 4412

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Awapuni Racecourse

Outcome: Protest Dismissed

Penalty: N/A


Following the running of Race 4, an Information was filed Instigating a Protest pursuant to Rule 642(1). The Applicant, Trainer Mr S Bergeson, alleged that horse No. 6 (NINJA TURTLE) placed 2nd by the Judge, interfered with the chances of horse No. 5 (RIGHTLY SO) placed 3rd by the Judge.

The interference was alleged to have occurred over the concluding stages.

The Judge’s provisional placings were as follows:

1st   No.1   AMEND

2nd  No.6   NINJA TURTLE

3rd   No.5   RIGHTLY SO

4th   No.9   PACE ATTACK

The official margin was a short head

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 Adjudicative 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.

The Applicant Mr Bergeson, stated that NINJA TURTLE  moved inwards approximately 4-5 horse widths onto his horse RIGHTLY SO, and the Rider Ms Ciel Butler, did not straighten her mount. In addition, there was a significant knock to his horse, which put it off stride just short of the winning post.

The Rider of RIGHTLY SO, Mr Parmar, said it was the last bump which affected his horse the most. Without interference, he said he would have finished closer, but was not certain he would have beaten the 2nd horse.

The Respondent Mr Zuppicich, showed the films from the top of the straight and pointed out how Mr Parmar pushed out onto his horse first. He conceded that NINJA TURTLE then began to move inwards, but said Mr Parmar hadn’t stopped riding and had used his stick 6 times to Ms Butler’s one time. Ms Butler said that Mr Parmar didn’t stop pushing his mount out to the finish and when NINJA TURTLE  bumped him, she was already ahead of that runner.

Stipendiary Steward Mr Davidson, outlined the Stewards’ interpretation of the alleged interference, but not whether the protest should be upheld or dismissed. He said initially Mr Parmar moved outwards onto Ms Butler and from there, Ms Butler shifted inwards, dictating Mr Parmar in. There were 2 points of contact he said, with the 2nd bump occurring close to the line.

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.

After hearing submissions and reviewing the video footage, the Adjudicative Committee established that rounding the home bend and straightening for home, Mr Parmar moved outwards onto NINJA TURTLE. From there, NINJA TURTLE moved inwards onto RIGHTLY SO, and made contact with Mr Parmar’s mount on 2 occasions. The second bump was the most significant and ocurred only three strides from the finish.

The Adjudicative Committee is satisfied that there was a degree of interference between the 2 horses involved, however Mr Parmar on the protesting horse, was only concerned about the final point of contact. While he believed it affected his chances, he was not 100% convinced he would have beaten Ms Butler. The final contact between the 2 horses was the most serious, but was considered too close to the line to have affected the chances of RIGHTLY SO beating NINJA TURTLE. The Adjudicative Committee considered the overall degree and nature of the interference, the way both horses finished the race off and the margin of a short head at the finish. On that basis, in the exercise of the Adjudicative Committee’s discretion, the protest is dismissed, and the Judge’s placings stand.


Accordingly, the protest is dismissed, and the Judge’s placings stand. The Adjudicative Committee authorised the payment of dividends and stake money in accordance with the Decision.

Decision Date: 16/06/2023

Publish Date: 20/06/2023