NZ Metro TC 8 November 2022 – R2 – SINBAD
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc
Addington Raceway - 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, 8024
Addington Raceway, Christchurch
Outcome: Protest Upheld
Penalty: Winner, SINBAD, relegated to 2nd placing
Following the running of Race 2, Hydroflow “Cup Day Maiden” Mobile Pace, the Applicant Driver Tim Williams, Driver of MISTER SMARTEE, placed 2nd by the Judge, filed an Information instigating a protest pursuant to Rule 869(4) alleging that SINBAD (Mark Purdon), placed 1st by the Judge, shifted inwards and made contact with MISTER SMARTEE near the 50 metres causing interference to that runner.
The provisional placings were:
1st 15 Sinbad
2nd 7 Mister Smartee
3rd 14 Cougar Express
4th 16. Dalton Shard
The official margin between 1st and 2nd was a nose.
Rule 869(4) provides:
“When a placed horse or its driver causes interference to another placed horse and the Adjudicative Committee is satisfied that the horse interfered with would have finished ahead of the horse that, or whose driver, caused the interference the Adjudicative Committee must, in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed, place the horse that, or whose driver, caused the interference immediately after the horse interfered with”.
Chief Stipendiary Steward, Nigel McIntyre, showed the available video replays, including that from an overhead drone, of the final 100 metres of the race. He pointed out MISTER SMARTEE, driven by Mr Williams, in the lead and being challenged on its outside by SINBAD, driven by the Respondent, inside the final 200 metres. He said it was clear that the latter runner had then shifted inwards and come into contact with the sulky wheel of the former, at about the 50 metres mark. SINBAD continued to lay on MISTER SMARTEE until passing the final marker, which is 13.9 metres from the finishing line. Interference had taken place over approximately 36 metres, Mr McIntyre said.
The Applicant said that Mr Purdon’s runner had come into contact at about the 50 metres and the resulting “skidding” of the sulky wheels could be seen on the replay. His runner had lost its momentum at that stage of the race and had been beaten by a small margin, he said.
The Respondent referred to the start that his runner was giving Mr Williams’ runner at the top of the straight. Had his own runner run in a straight line, it would have still won the race, he said. It had continued to make ground and the contact had affected both horses, he submitted.
Chief Stipendiary Steward, Nigel McIntyre, was asked for his views of the alleged interference. He said that it was clear that interference had occurred 50 metres from the finish, which had denied Mr Williams’ runner the opportunity to progress, once the horses had locked wheels. Although Mr Purdon’s runner had made up many lengths, it appeared that Mr Williams’ runner was holding it at the point of contact. It was the view of Stewards that, but for the interference, Mr Williams’ runner would have held its advantage, Mr McIntyre said.
REASONS FOR DECISION:
In determining this protest, the Adjudicative Committee first needs to find that SINBAD caused interference to MISTER SMARTEE and, if it so finds, then whether, but for that interference, MISTER SMARTEE would have beaten SINBAD.
Did SINBAD cause interference to MISTER SMARTEE? The Adjudicative Committee is satisfied that interference did take place when SINBAD shifted inwards approximately 50 metres from the finishing line. As a result of that inwards movement, the sulky wheels of the two runners locked briefly (the sulky wheel of MISTER SMARTEE could be seen on the head-on video replay to be “skidding” on the track) and SINBAD continued to lay in on MISTER SMARTEE. At the time, MISTER SMARTEE appeared to be holding SINBAD and, in any event, was clearly denied the opportunity to fight back over the final 50 metres. The final margin of a nose was compelling.
The Adjudicative Committee is satisfied that, but for the interference suffered, MISTER SMARTEE would have beaten SINBAD. The Adjudicative Committee acknowledges that SINBAD had made up several lengths in the run home. However, the interference was, we find, sufficient to hinder MISTER SMARTEE which, at the finish was beaten by a nose. The momentum of that runner at a crucial stage of the race was clearly halted.
The protest is upheld and SINBAD is relegated to 2nd placing.
The amended placings are as follows:
1st 7 Mister Smartee
2nd 15 Sinbad
3rd 14 Cougar Express
4th 16 Dalton Shard
It is ordered that dividends and stakes be paid in accordance with those amended placings.
Decision Date: 08/11/2022
Publish Date: 11/11/2022