NZ Metro TC 12 June 2022 – R7 – Michael Cations

ID: RIB9459

Michael Cations - Driver

Paul Williams, Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Driving in manner likely to cause interference

869(4) - Riding/driving infringement - Running of the Race


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:
Addington Raceway, Christchurch.

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Graduation Driver, Michael Cations, fined $250.


Following the running of Race 7, Macca Lodge Young at Heart Handicap Pace, the Respondent, Graduation Driver Michael Cations, admitted a breach of Rule 869(4), namely that as the Driver of DEJA BLUE in the race he “drove in a manner likely to cause interference in the run home when driving his runner forward onto the back of SONIC REIGN (Jonny Cox) when held up for racing room”.

The Respondent endorsed the Information “I do admit the breach of the rule”  and confirmed he understood the Rule and the nature of the charge.

Rule 869 provides:

(4)  No driver shall during any race do anything which interferes or is likely to interfere with any other horse or its progress.


Stipendiary Steward, Paul Williams, pointed out the two runners on video replays of the incident, with approximately 200 metres to run. DEJA BLUE, driven by the Respondent, had improved to four places back on the marker line as the field turned into the home straight. SONIC REIGN,  driven by Mr Cox, had trailed the leader into the straight, but was weakening.

Mr Williams then showed that the Respondent had driven his horse up into the back of Mr Cox’s sulky and his horse skipped for a couple of strides as the Respondent was forced to restrain it. The Respondent had caused interference to his own horse.

The Respondent said that he had seen a gap between Mr Cox’ runner and KENNEDY (Katie Cox) to Mr Cox’s outer, and it was his intention to take that gap. Mr Cox’s runner had, in the meantime, drifted away from the markers and had closed the gap without him, the Respondent, being aware of it, he said. He did not see Mr Cox, he said.


The charge is admitted by the Respondent and is therefore deemed proved.


Stipendiary Steward, Paul Williams, said that the Respondent is an “infrequent Driver” and has a clear record. This was the Respondent’s first drive this season, and he had only two drives last season. He has caused interference to his own horse, which had then run on well, Mr Williams said.

The starting point for penalty under the Penalty Guide is a $300 fine or a 6-drives suspension. A fine was the appropriate penalty, Mr Williams submitted, having regard to the fact that the Respondent seldom drives.

The Respondent accepted that a fine was the appropriate penalty.


The Adjudicative Committee agreed that a suspension was not an option in the circumstances and noted the Penalty Guide starting point of a $300 fine. Notwithstanding Mr Williams’ submission that the Respondent may have affected his runner’s chances of finishing in a higher placing, the Adjudicative Committee assessed the breach as being low-level. The horse only skipped for a couple of strides and, although it did run on, the Adjudicative Committee noted that it finished in 8th placing, 7.2 lengths from the winner. No other runner was affected.

For a low-level breach such as this, the starting point can be reduced to $250. The Respondent’s clear record and frank admission of the breach are relevant mitigating factors, while not justifying a discount from the reduced starting point.


Graduation Driver, Michael Cations, is fined the sum of $250.

Decision Date: 12/06/2022

Publish Date: 13/06/2022