NZ Metro TC 16 April 2022 – R8 – Gerard O’Reilly

ID: RIB8601

Gerard O’Reilly - Driver

Nigel McIntyre, Chief Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie (Chair) and Dave Anderson

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Driving

869(3)(b) - Riding/driving infringement


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: Driver Gerard O’Reilly suspended 4 days


Following the running of Race 8, Hydroflow NZ Country Championship Final Handicap Pace (Listed Race), the Respondent Driver Gerard O’Reilly admitted a breach of Rule 869(3)(b) namely that, as the Driver of THE FALCON in the race, he drove carelessly shortly after the start by shifting ground inwards when insufficiently clear of KISS THE GIRLS (Robbie Close) which was forced down onto ALLAMERICANLOVER (Tim Williams) which struck the wheel of KISS THE GIRLS which was punctured.

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

Rule 869(3) provides:

(b)  No driver in any race shall drive carelessly.


Using the available video replays, Chief Stipendiary Steward, Nigel McIntyre, had Stipendiary Steward, Shane Renault, identify the horses involved in the incident. He showed head-on and side-on video replays of the first 200-300 metres of the 3200 metres standing start race. Mr Renault pointed out THE FALCON, driven by the Respondent, begin quickly from the outside barrier position on the front row and come down the track and shift inwards when not fully clear of KISS THE GIRLS (Robbie Close) forcing  that runner inwards onto ALLAMERICANLOVER, which was racing behind and to the inside of KISS THE GIRLS. Mr Williams had three runners to his inside, Mr Renault said, and made contact with the near-side sulky wheel of  KISS THE GIRLS causing it to puncture and deflate.

Mr O’Reilly declined the opportunity to comment.


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


Chief Stipendiary Steward, Nigel McIntyre, said that Mr O’Reilly has had 148 drives in the current season to date (from 1 January 2022) and in the 2020/2021 season had 498 drives. He said that Mr O’Reilly is a Driver that the Stewards very rarely see. His record is very good, Mr McIntyre said.

However, he said, the race was a Listed Race for a total stake of $100,000 and, therefore, a “major race” for the purposes of the Penalty Guide (a race with stakes of $40,000 or more). The starting point for penalty for a “major race” is a 3-days suspension. Mr McIntyre submitted that it was an aggravating factor that KISS THE GIRLS had been forced out of the race with a punctured tyre warranting an uplift if 2 days from the  starting point.

Mr O’Reilly accepted that he had driven carelessly and would accept any penalty the Adjudicative Committee imposed. He sought a deferment of any suspension until after the meeting of NZ Metropolitan TC on 21 April 2022.


The Adjudicative Committee assessed the breach as being medium-level. It is a case of Mr O’Reilly having made a slight misjudgment in making his inwards movement after beginning well from his wide barrier draw. The consequences to KISS THE GIRLS were unfortunate.

A penalty of a 3-days suspension was an appropriate starting point in this case. It was a significant aggravating factor that Mr O’Reilly’s carelessness had resulted in KISS THE GIRLS (10/12 in the order of favouritism) being put out of the race. That factor warrants an uplift to the starting point, the Adjudicative Committee decided, of 2 days. Mitigating factors are Mr O’Reilly’s frank admission of the breach and his excellent record under the Rule and, for those factors, the Adjudicative Committee decided that a 1-day discount from the uplifted starting point was appropriate.


The Respondent, Driver Gerard O’Reilly, is granted a deferment. His licence is suspended for 4 days until after racing on 21 April 2022 up to and including 1 May 2022. The meetings intended to be encompassed by the period of suspension are Geraldine TC on 24 April, Ashburton TC on 25 April, NZ Metropolitan TC on 29 April and Rangiora HRC on 1 May 2022.

Decision Date: 16/04/2022

Publish Date: 19/04/2022