Methven TC 28 January 2024 – R8 – Michael Cations

ID: RIB38273

Michael Stephen Cations - Driver

Shane Renault - Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Driving

869(3)(b) - Riding/driving infringement


Animal Name:
Vincent Vega


Race Date:

Race Club:
Methven Trotting Club

Race Location:
Methven Racecourse - 47 Mount Hutt Station Road, Methven, 7782

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Mt Harding Racecourse, Methven

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Graduation Driver, Michael Cations, suspended 3 days


Following the running of Race 8, Hornby Club Mobile Pace, Graduation Driver, Michael Cations, as the Driver of VINCENT VEGA in the race, admitted that he drove carelessly racing into the first bend by shifting ground inwards checking inside runners.

Rule 869 provides:

(3)  No driver in any race shall drive:- 

       (b) carelessly


Stipendiary Steward, Shane Renault, showed video replays of the incident, which occurred approximately 200 metres after the start of the 1609 metres mobile start race. He pointed out VINCENT VEGA, driven by the Respondent, starting from barrier position 7. The two main runners affected were GET IT ON (Samantha Ottley), drawn 3 on the second row, and JULIETTE SHARD (Ricky May), drawn 2.

Mr Renault showed the Respondent crossing after the start and following CHANGEAROUND (Jonny Cox), which had drawn 7. The Respondent shifted in with three runners to his inside, including GET IT ON and JULIETTE SHARD, both of which were crowded and suffered checks, he said. The Respondent had attempted to relieve the pressure, but was too late in doing so. GET IT ON “became awkward” to the outside of JULIETTE SHARD, when trying to avoid the Respondent and shifted in making contact with that runner. Three following runners were also hampered as a result, Mr Renault said.

The Respondent said that, after the earlier false start, his horse was striking the sulky footrests and was difficult to control. He knew that he was getting tight and tried to alleviate the pressure, but agreed it was too late.


The breach having been admitted, it is deemed proved.


Mr Renault said that the Respondent has had 3 drives this season and 18 drives in the 2023 season just ended. He has a previous breach for careless driving on 24 September 2023 – at Motukarara, suspended 3 days.

The Penalty Guide starting point for a second breach is a 4-days suspension, Mr Renault said. Stewards saw the breach as being low-level with no significant consequences to the Respondent’s or any other runner. A suspension period of 3 days would be appropriate, he submitted.


The Adjudicative Committee agreed that the breach was low-level. There are no aggravating factors, there being no consequences to any other runner. The Respondent has admitted the breach, which is a mitigating factor. The Penalty Guide starting point for a mid-level, second breach is a 4-days suspension. Having regard to that and to the Respondent’s admission of the breach, a discount of 1 day from the starting point is appropriate.


The Respondent, Graduation Driver, Michael Cations is suspended from after the close of racing on 28 January 2024, up to and including 9 February 2024 – 3 days.

Decision Date: 28/01/2024

Publish Date: 31/01/2024