NZ Metro TC 1 September 2023 – R6 – Sarah O’Reilly

ID: RIB27010

Sarah O'Reilly - Junior Driver

Paul Williams - Stipendiary Steward

Stewart Ching (Chair)

Persons Present:
Sarah O'Reilly - Junior Driver, Brent White - Trainer, Shane Renault - Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Out of position at the candy pole

858(1)(m) - Riding/driving infringement

Not Admitted

Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc

Race Location:
Addington Raceway - 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, 8024

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Junior Driver Sarah O'Reilly is fined $100

Summary of Facts:

Following the running of Race 6, the Respondent Junior Driver, Sarah O’Reilly denied a breach of Rule 858(1)(m); namely that when driving BLUTO she was out of position at the candy pole.

The Respondent endorsed the Information ‘I do not admit the breach of the Rule’ and confirmed she understood the Rule and the nature of the charge. Miss O’Reilly was assisted at the hearing by the Trainer of BLUTO, Brent White.

Rule 858(1)(m) provides:

(m) Fail to come up to the mobile barrier by the time the candy pole or other nominated marker is reached.

Using available video footage, Stipendiary Steward Mr Renault, for Mr Williams, showed the run up to the start and identified BLUTO, driven by Miss O’Reilly, trailing SINBAD, who had drawn 6 off the barrier arm. He pointed out BLUTO, on the outside of SINBAD, approaching the candy pole and at the pole, was 1½ lengths out of position. Mr Renault explained that Drivers were given a discretion of 1/2 a length with the requirements of this Rule, which put Miss O’Reilly 1 length out of position at the pole.

Miss O’Reilly stated that she was instructed to hang back and get cover approaching the start point, as BLUTO was known to prove difficult at mobile starts. She explained that she followed SINBAD over the early stages of the run up and was trying to get the horse to the start without an issue. She pointed out on the films, that BLUTO was laying out away from SINBAD, which made it difficult to get the horse into position. Mr White confirmed he had instructed Miss O’Reilly to hang back and get a lead up to the start in order to get the horse away trouble free.


The Adjudicative Committee carefully assessed the films and evidence presented at the hearing. The Adjudicative Committee was satisfied that BLUTO was 1½ lengths out of position at the candy pole and with the discretion of 1/2 a length, was still 1 length out of position at the pole. The Adjudicative Committee found that Miss O’Reilly had misjudged the start and was out of position at the candy pole. Miss O’Reilly had failed to come up to the candy pole as required by the Rule. The charge is therefore found proved.

Submissions for Penalty:

Stipendiary Steward Mr Renault produced the Respondent’s record, which indicated a warning on 17 June 2023 under this Rule, for failing to be in position at the candy pole at Invercargill.

Mr Renault stated that a breach of this Rule is normally dealt with by way of  a Minor Infringement Notice with a fine of $100. He submitted that a fine of $100 as per the MIN system, be considered as penalty.

Reasons for Penalty:

A breach of this Rule is normally dealt with by way of the MIN system with a fine of $100 imposed. The Adjudicative Committee determined there were no compelling reasons to defer from the MIN standard fine. It was therefore determined that a fine of $100 was an appropriate penalty.


Miss O’Reilly is fined the sum of $100.

Decision Date: 01/09/2023

Publish Date: 04/09/2023