NZ Metro TC 20 October 2023 – R6 – Jason Thomas
THE WELSH DRAGON
NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc
Addington Raceway - 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, 8024
Addington Raceway, Christchurch
Penalty: Open Driver, Jason Thomas suspended 3 days
Following the running of Race 6, The Luxury Liner Mobile Pace, Open Driver, Jason Thomas, admitted a breach of rule 868(3) in that, as the Driver of THE WELSH DRAGON in the race, he failed to drive that horse out to the finish when having a reasonable chance of running 4th.
Rule 868 provides:
(3) Every driver shall drive his or her horse out to the end of the race if he or she has any reasonable chance of running first, second, third, fourth, or fifth.
Stipendiary Steward, Shane Renault, showed a video replay of the final 200-300 metres of the race. He pointed out THE WELSH DRAGON, driven by the Respondent, racing 3-wide outside the leaders, and joining in, as the field turned into the final straight.
Mr Renault then pointed out the horse “go rough”, forcing the Respondent to take a hold. He then drove the horse forward before putting his whip away just short of the finishing line, being beaten by GOOD TIME BETTY (John Morrison) for 4th placing by a nose. He was still urging the horse passing the 100 metres but showed no vigour whatsoever over the final 50 metres, Mr Renault said.
The Respondent did not wish to comment.
The charge having been admitted, it is deemed proved.
SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:
Mr Renault said that the Respondent has had 30 drives this season and has a clear record. He referred the Committee to the Penalty Guide for the breach – a 3-day suspension – and submitted that that would be an appropriate penalty in this case.
He submitted that an aggravating factor was that 4th placing had been lost, thereby affecting First 4 investors.
The Respondent said that he would take any suspension to commence immediately. He said that the horse was pacing roughly all the way up the straight.
REASONS FOR PENALTY:
The Respondent has failed to drive his horse out to the finish of the race when it had a reasonable chance of running 4th. The official margin between 4th and 5th was a nose. The RIB Harness Racing Penalty Guide (February 2003) provides starting points for penalty according to the placing lost – in this case 4th, a starting point of a 3-day suspension.
The aggravating factor submitted by Mr Renault, the Adjudicative Committee does not regard as an aggravating factor. The placing lost is already built into the penalty provided in the Penalty Guide.
CONCLUSION – PENALTY:
The Respondent, Open Driver Jason Thomas, is suspended from after the conclusion of racing on 20 October 2023 up to and including 30 October 2023 – 3 days.
Decision Date: 20/10/2023
Publish Date: 23/10/2023