NZ Metro TC 3 November 2023 – R5 – Paul Nairn
HEAD EM UP
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc
Addington Raceway - 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, 8024
Addington Raceway, Christchurch
Penalty: Open Driver Paul Nairn is fined $300
Following the running of Race 5, SENZ – New Zealand Two-Year-Old Trotting Stakes (Mobile Trot) (Group 3), Open Driver, Paul Nairn, admitted a breach of the Rules in that, as the Driver of HEAD EM UP in the race, “he shifted outwards on the track passing the 1650 metres forcing TORQUAY STREET (Tony Herlihy) to race wider on the track” – a breach of the Pushout Rule.
Rule 869(4) provides:
(4) No driver shall during any race do anything which interferes or is likely to interfere with his own horse and/or any other horse or its progress.
(6) Subject to sub-rule (4) hereof:-
(b) a horse during any race shall not be forced to race wider on the track;
(c) a horse during a race shall not move ground outwards once the nose of the wider runner coming forward is in line with or past its sulky wheel and until the wider runner going forward is fully past.
Chief Stipendiary Steward, Nigel McIntyre, showed video replays of the incident, approximately 300 metres after the start of the 1980 metres mobile start race. He pointed out HEAD EM UP, driven by the Respondent, which had drawn barrier position 1, racing four places back on the markers. TORQUAY STREET, driven by Tony Herlihy, was racing behind, but outside of, HEAD EM UP.
Mr McIntyre showed Mr Nairn shift his runner away from the markers and force Mr Herlihy’s runner to race 3-wide. The Adjudicative Committee observed that the nose of Mr Herlihy’s runner was, clearly, in line with or past the sulky wheel of HEAD EM UP, when it was forced to race wider. YOSEMITE, Craig Ferguson, racing behind Mr Herlihy, was not quite outside the wheel of Mr Herlihy’s runner when the Respondent shifted away from the markers, and therefore was not the widest runner. It was a clear breach of the Rule, Mr McIntyre submitted.
Mr McIntyre said that Mr Herlihy was able to slot onto the back of the Respondent’s runner, but the Respondent’s actions enabled him to get away from the markers and, the Adjudicative Committee observed, progress to the lead at the 1200 metres.
The Respondent did not wish to comment.
The charge having been admitted, it is deemed proved.
SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:
Mr McIntyre said that the Respondent has a clear record as far as the Pushout Rule is concerned. He has had 33 drives in the season to date.
He referred to the starting point for penalty under the Penalty Guide for a first breach of the Rule in a Group or Listed Race – a $400 fine.
Mr McIntyre said that Mr Herlihy may have been drifting back to let the Respondent out and to get onto his back, but the Respondent had come out too soon.
REASONS FOR PENALTY:
The Adjudicative Committee noted that the “Starting Point – 1st breach on a Group or Listed Race” under the RIB Harness Racing Penalty Guide (February 2023) for a breach of the Rule is a $400 fine.
The Adjudicative Committee did not regard the fact of the Respondent going on to win the race (by 2¾ lengths) as an aggravating factor. The mitigating factors of the Respondent’s clear record and admission of the breach warrant, in the view of the Adjudicative Committee, a discount of 25% or $100.
Open Driver, Paul Nairn, is fined $300.
Decision Date: 03/11/2023
Publish Date: 06/11/2023