NZ Metro TC 26 August 2022 – R5 – Samantha Ottley
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc
Addington Raceway - 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, 8024
Addington Raceway, Christchurch
Penalty: Driver, Samantha Ottley, fined $200
Following the running of Race 5, Nevele R Fillies Series No. 44 (Heat 1) Mobile Pace, the Respondent, Driver Samantha Ottley, admitted a charge alleging that, as the Driver of MONACO GRACE in the race, she allowed her runner to race inside track markers leaving the final bend after anticipating a run to the inside of RAKERO REBEL (Gavin Smith).
Rule 869 provides as follows:
(7A) Every driver who moves inwards shall ensure:
(b) that any part of the sulky does not protrude inside the marker line.
Stipendiary Steward, Paul Williams, showed video replays of the incident approximately 250 metres from the finish. He pointed out MONACO GRACE, driven by the Respondent, racing 3-places back on the pylons following RAKERO REBEL, driven by Gavin Smith, as the field approached the home turn. He pointed out that Ms Ottley’s runner had then gone over two track markers while anticipating a run to the inside of Mr Smith, he alleged.
Mr Williams said that Stewards were alleging that Mr Smith was, initially, moving out from behind the leader but was unable to move further out because OBSESSION (Tim Williams), which was improving 3-wide, had “squeezed up” the runner to his inside, CLASSIE LINC (Sheree Tomlinson), which was racing to the outside of Mr Smith’s runner. Mr Williams submitted that Mr Smith had not been able to shift out as far as he had wanted to and as far as the Respondent had anticipated. The Respondent was, as a result, forced to race over two track markers. She had got her horse into the gap, but the gap was never wide enough to get her sulky fully into it, Mr Williams submitted.
The Respondent said that when Mr Smith went to push out, she believed that there had been a full run for her. The outside horses had run back down when she was already in the gap, which forced her over the two track markers. She believed that Mr Smith had been in the two-out line, and she merely held her line and taken his spot.
The charge is admitted by the Respondent and is therefore deemed proved.
SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:
Mr Williams said that the Respondent has a clear record under the Rule. He said that, to some extent, the Respondent had been the victim of circumstances. He repeated that there was never enough room for Ms Ottley’s horse and the sulky. This is a low-level breach, Mr Williams said. The Penalty Guide starting point is a fine of $200. He submitted that a fine of that amount would be appropriate.
The Respondent submitted that the incident could be described as a “racing incident”. There were so many factors at play, she said.
REASONS FOR PENALTY:
The Penalty Guide prescribes a starting point for penalty for a breach of the Rule of a 4-drives suspension or a $200 fine. The Adjudicative Committee did not consider a suspension for this breach.
The breach was low-level. The Respondent had anticipated a run to the inside of Mr Smith’s runner. There was a half-gap, which did not become a full run when Mr Smith shifted back in marginally. The Respondent felt that she was unlucky. There were no real consequences. The Respondent’s horse finished in 5th place and could not be said to have gained an advantage.
The Respondent has a clear record and has admitted the breach. These are mitigating factors. However, the Adjudicative Committee noted that fines for breaches of the Rule have been, in the main, not less than the starting point of $200.
The Respondent, Driver Samantha Ottley, is fined $200.
Decision Date: 26/08/2022
Publish Date: 29/08/2022