Methven TC 29 October 2021 – R2 – Martin Herbert
Methven Trotting Club
Methven Racecourse - 47 Mount Hutt Station Road, Methven, 7782
Mt Harding Racecourse, Methven.
Penalty: Driver Martin Herbert is suspended for a period of six weeks.
Following the running of Race 2 Stipendiary Steward Mr Paul Williams presented an Information alleging a breach of Rule 857(7)(e) by Driver Mr Martin Herbert which was admitted.
Mr Herbert confirmed to the Committee he was conversant with the Rule and understood the charge.
Mr Williams with the assistance of Stipendiary Steward Mr Renault identified Mr Herbert scoring up to the mobile gate in the unruly position. Mr Renault pointed to Mr Herbert as he reached the candy pole, 50 metres before the start, shift down the track to the rail as the race began. He said CLASSIE LINC had caused the false start in this race and Mr Herbert chose not to start in his original position for the rerun and was to start from the unruly position. Mr Williams referenced the Stewards have previously noted CLASSIE LINC to be a very difficult horse to handle.
Mr Herbert said he had been a little flustered by what had happened pre-start and made a mistake.
REASON FOR DECISION:
Mr Herbert having admitted the breach the charge was found proved.
SUBMISSION FOR PENALTY:
Mr Williams stated this Rule has no Penalty Guideline starting point. He said the most helpful guide would be the out-of-position Rule 857 (7)(d) which he said provides a starting point of a fine of $400 or an 8 drive suspension.
He said Steward’s assessment of this breach was at the low end and a fine in the range of $250 would be appropriate.
Mr Herbert said he would prefer a suspension over a fine as he has been stuck here in NZ for six months without any income. He said Bruce and Colleen Negus had been his gracious hosts for this period and afforded him some drives.
Mr Williams said the Stewards had no objection to Mr Herbert receiving a suspension instead of a fine in his circumstances. He stated Mr Herbert had driven six times since July and considering the infrequency of driving a suspension in the vicinity of 3 months would be acceptable.
Mr Herbert said he would leave it in hands of the Committee to determine any sanction.
REASON FOR PENALTY:
Without any Penalty Guideline to reference the Committee is tasked with finding a sanction that is both fair and reasonable.
Mr Herbert has many mitigating and empathetic factors to consider.
(1) Mr Herbert has admitted the breach frankly and has a clean record.
(2) Mr Herbert’s horse is a very difficult drive, as alluded to by Mr Williams, even for an experienced Driver which Mr Herbert is.
(3) Mr Herbert’s actions to cross to the rail early had no advantage for CLASSIE LINC who settled last in the running, finishing in 11th place.
(4) Mr Herbert is an unfortunate victim of Covid-19, being stuck here from Sydney without income.
There are definitely no aggravating factors here.
Mr Herbert made no application for deferment.
The Committee having regard to all the evidence and submissions considers a six-week period of suspension as appropriate in this case.
Mr Herbert’s Licence to drive is suspended from the conclusion of racing today, up to and including racing on the 11th December 2021.
Decision Date: 29/10/2021
Publish Date: 01/11/2021