NZ Metro TC 16 April 2022 – R2 – Blair Orange

ID: RIB8596

Respondent(s):
Blair Orange - Driver

Applicant:
Nigel McIntyre, Chief Stipendiary Steward

Adjudicators:
Russell McKenzie (Chair) and Dave Anderson

Information Number:
A16132

Decision Type:
Adjudicative Decision

Charge:
Careless Driving

Rule(s):
869(3)(b)

Plea:
Admitted

Animal Name:
PETRONELLI GEE

Code:
Harness

Race Date:
16/04/2022

Race Club:
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc

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

Race Number:
R2

Hearing Date:
16/04/2022

Hearing Location:
Addington Raceway, Christchurch

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Blair Orange suspended 2 days

BACKGROUND:

Following the running of Race 2, IRT “Ratto” Showcase Handicap Trot, Driver Blair Orange admitted a breach of Rule 869(3)(b) namely that he drove carelessly near the 100 metres by shifting his runner, PETRONELLI GEE, inwards which which forced PRINCE TEKA (Kyle Cameron) down onto READY I AM (Philippa Wakelin) which contributed to that horse falling.

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

Rule 869(3)(b) provides:

No driver in any race shall drive carelessly.

EVIDENCE:

Using available video replays, Chief Stipendiary Steward, Nigel McIntyre, identified the horses involved in the incident. He pointed out PETRONELLI GEE, driven by Mr Orange, which had been racing four places back on the markers prior to the home turn, shift out as the field entered the home straight and get onto the back of TAKE AFTER ME (John Morrison), being held up and looking for a run. Mr Orange then directed his horse inwards, Stewards were alleging, in a sharp move and as a result, Kyle Cameron, Driver of PRINCE TEKA which was to the inside of Mr Orange, had to turn his horse’s head away to give Mr Orange room. Mr Orange  got his runner through the gap and went on to win the race. In the incident READY I AM (Philippa Wakelin), which was held up when AIGUILLE (Robbie Close) broke and shifted out into her line, fell to the track. Ms Wakelin had nowhere to go, being caught between AIGUILLE, which had shifted out and PRINCE TEKA, which had been shifted in. Stewards did not believe that Mr Orange was fully to blame for the fall, Mr McIntyre said.

Mr Orange said that his shift  did not contribute to READY I AM’s falling. He agreed that he had “come in a little bit tight” when Mr Cameron’s runner was stopping and Mr Cameron had to take hold “a little bit”.

DECISION:

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

SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:

Chief Stipendiary Steward, Nigel McIntyre said that Mr Orange was a Senior Driver. To date this season (from 1 January 2022), Mr Orange has had 437 drives and in the previous extended season 1653. He is a Driver that Stewards do not usually have to talk to, Mr McIntyre said. However, Stewards believed that a suspension was called for in this case. The starting point under the Penalty Guide is a 10-drives suspension and, in Mr Orange’s case, this should be a 2-days suspension, he said.

Mr Orange sought a deferment of any term of suspension until after 22 April 2022.

REASONS FOR PENALTY:

The appropriate starting point for penalty in this case is a 10-drives suspension. No Driver in New Zealand is busier than Mr Orange. For example, at tonight’s meeting, Mr Orange had a drive in 9 of the 11 races. In addition to that, he drives at every South Island meeting as well as some North Island meetings.

In this case, Mr Orange’s runner has been full of running and looking for racing room. Mr Orange has misjudged the gap between TAKE AFTER ME and PRINCE TEKA and, in doing so, drove carelessly. Mr Orange’s runner, PETRONELLI GEE, having taken the gap, went on to win the race – an aggravating factor. The breach was in the mid-to-high range. On the other hand, Mr Orange has an undeniably excellent driving record and has admitted the breach.

A 2-days suspension for Mr Orange could well involve as many as 15–20 drives so a suspension of 2 days well and truly punishes this breach, having regard to all factors referred to.

CONCLUSION:

The Respondent’s licence is suspended from after racing on 22 April 2022 up to and including 25 April 2022 – 2 days. The meetings intended to be encompassed by the term of suspension are Geraldine TC on 24 April and Ashburton TC on 25 April 2022.

Decision Date: 16/04/2022

Publish Date: 19/04/2022