Methven TC 10 October 2021 – R7 – Ben Hope

ID: RIB5154

Respondent(s):
Ben Hope - Junior Driver

Applicant:
Paul Williams, Stipendiary Steward

Adjudicators:
Russell McKenzie

Information Number:
A16706

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Driving in a Manner Causing Interference

Rule(s):
869 (4)

Plea:
Admitted

Animal Name:
Jessie Kelly

Code:
Harness

Race Date:
10/10/2021

Race Club:
Methven Trotting Club

Race Location:
Orari Raecourse - Orari Station Road, Orari, 7992

Race Number:
R7

Hearing Date:
10/10/2021

Hearing Location:
Orari Racecourse, Orari

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Junior Driver Ben Hope is fined the sum of $250

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Following Race 7, Methven Panel & Paint Mobile Pace, Junior Driver Ben Hope was charged that, as the Driver of JESSIE KELLY in the race, after reaching the parked position he eased the pace in a manner which caused interference to trailing runners.

Mr Hope, a Junior Driver, waived the right to be assisted by an Open Driver.

Rule 869 (4) provides:

“No driver shall during any race do anything which interferes or is likely to interfere with his own horse and/or any other horse or its progress”.

SUBMISSIONS:

Mr Williams showed a video replay of the incident just prior to the 1000 metres. He pointed out that JESSIE KELLY, driven by Mr Hope had been 3-wide from the start of the 1850 mobile start race. From the 1100 metres it improved to the position outside the leader, SPORTY CELINE. Mr Williams submitted that, as Mr Hope reached that position, he eased the pace and, as a consequence, all of the trailing runners in the one-out line were “hampered” to a greater or lesser degree. The effect was concertina-like, he submitted. Mr Hope had told Stewards that he did not realise how bad it was it was until after being shown the video of the incident.

Mr Hope said that he had obviously come back too quick. He submitted that none of the affected trailing runners galloped or had its chances affected. The worst affected runner, was probably SOPHIA BROMAC (John Dunn) which went on to win the race, Mr Hope said.

REASON FOR DECISION:

Mr Hope has admitted the charge which is found proved accordingly.

SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:

Mr Williams said that Mr Hope has a clear record and has freely admitted the breach. The starting point for penalty, he said, is a 6-drives suspension or a $300 fine. Stewards considered that a fine was an appropriate penalty, which should be not less that $250. Regardless of the consequences, there were five other runners in the race inconvenienced as a consequence of his actions, Mr Williams said.

Mr Hope said that his preference was for a fine rather than a suspension.

REASONS FOR PENALTY:

Rather fortuitously for Mr Hope, on this occasion, the consequences of his easing the pace were minimal. A fine is the appropriate penalty for the breach. There being no aggravating factors, the starting point is $300. A discount from that starting point can be given for Mr Hope’s good record, his very frank admission of the breach and his status as a Junior Driver.

CONCLUSIONS:

Junior Driver, Ben Hope, is fined the sum of $250.

Decision Date: 10/10/2021

Publish Date: 11/10/2021