Non Raceday Inquiry – Written Decision dated 4 September 2023 – Mahipal Singh
Penalty: Apprentice Jockey Mahipal Singh is suspended for 5 National Days
Following the Ashburton Racing Club Trials Meeting at Ashburton on 15 August 2023, Class B Rider Mahipal Singh, was issued with an Information alleging that he struck his mount HENRIQUI 10 times prior to the 100m.
Mr Singh was assisted at the hearing by Licensed Trainer and Employer of Mr Singh, Karen Parsons.
Rule 638(3)(g)(i) provides that in a Flat Race a Rider must not:
- strike a horse with a whip more than 5 times prior to the 100-metre mark (other than in a slapping motion down the shoulder with the whip hand remaining on the reins); or
Using the available race films, Chief Stipendiary Steward John Oatham pointed out HENRIQUI, ridden by Mr Singh, racing towards the rear of the trial field approaching the 600m. He demonstrated that the Respondent, Mr Singh, struck his mount 10 times from near the 600m, 4 strikes prior to the home turn, with the remaining 6 in the home straight prior to the 100m. He added that Mr Singh only used the whip on one more occasion over the concluding 100m. Mr Oatham stated that the strikes were delivered with firm force, but were not consecutive. He added that the use of the whip did not have any effect on HENRIQUI’s performance, as the horse made no ground on the other runners.
In response and by way of explanation, Mrs Parsons, for Mr Singh, stated that HENRIQUI was a lazy horse and all he wanted to do was “canter round and go home for tea”. She stated that her instructions to Mr Singh before the trial, was to stir the horse up and teach him to race more competitively. Mrs Parsons added that it was not Mr Singh’s fault that he was being charged but hers, for instructing him to ride the horse aggressively.
As the Respondent Mr Singh admitted the breach, the Adjudicative Committee finds the breach proved (Rule 915(1)(d) refers).
SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY
Mr Oatham produced the Respondent, Mr Singh’s record, which indicated a warning and reprimand prior to this incident.
He stated that Mr Singh had been indentured to Trainer Fraser Aurett originally, but had transferred to the John and Karen Parsons Stable, 9 weeks ago. He added that Mr Singh had just finished a compulsory 9 week stand down from race riding, but was, as of yesterday, able to take rides again, therefore any suspension could begin immediately.
Mr Oatham said that the Penalty Guide provides a first offence whip breach where there were 4 or more strikes before the 100m, a 5-day suspension starting point. He submitted a 5 to 6 day suspension be considered as penalty in this case.
Mr Singh elected to make no submissions in regard to penalty, apart from informing the Adjudicative Committee that he had lifetime rides of 27.
Deferment was not an option for Mr Singh, as he had no upcoming engagements at meetings in the immediate future.
REASONS FOR PENALTY
The Penalty Guide starting point for a breach of this nature is set out below.
For breaches of the Whip Rule prior to the 100m mark:
1st offence with 4 or more additional strikes a starting point of a 5 National Day suspension, mitigation inclusive.
After considering the film evidence, the submissions and having due regard to the number and frequency of strikes, in conjunction with the relative inexperience of Mr Singh, having had only 27 lifetime rides, the Adjudicative Committee determined there were no compelling reasons to depart from the starting point of 5 National Days as set out in the Penalty Guide.
On that basis, the Respondent is suspended for 5 National Days.
The Respondent, Mr Singh’s Licence to ride in races is suspended for 5 days from close of racing today, 31 August 2023, until close of racing on 9 September 2023.
Decision Date: 31/08/2023
Publish Date: 04/09/2023