R Taupo 15 September 2023 – R4 – STILL BANGON

ID: RIB27498

Stephen Autridge - Trainer

Sam Bergerson - Trainer

Hon J W Gendall KC

Persons Present:
Mr S Bergerson - Co-Trainer of SUPERBLY WRITTEN, Mr M McNab - Rider of SUPERBLY WRITTEN, Mr S Autridge - Trainer of STILL BANGON, Ms S Spratt - Rider of STILL BANGON, Ms L Selvakumaran - Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:

Decision Type:

642(1) - Riding/driving infringement


Alleged interference in the final straight

Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Taupo Racing Club

Race Location:
Taupo Racecourse - 471 Centennial Dr, Taupo, 3378

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:

Outcome: Protest Upheld

Penalty: N/A


Following the running of Race 4, the “Remembering Julie Wilding” 1300m, Mr Bergerson, Co-Trainer of “SUPERBLY WRITTEN” ridden by Mr M McNab, which finished 2nd, lodged a protest against the 1st placed horse “STILL BANGON”, ridden by Ms S Spratt, alleging “interference in the final straight”.

Submissions for Decision:

The Adjudicative Committee heard evidence and submissions from Mr McNab, Mr Bergerson, Ms Spratt (Mr Autridge not wishing to make any submission) and Stipendiary Steward, Ms L Selvakumaran, and viewed the race films (head on and side on at frequent times, and received the photo finish image).

Reasons for Decision:

Rule 642(1) is well known which provides:

“If a placed horse or its Rider causes interference…. to another placed horse, and the Adjudicative Committee is of the opinion that the horse so interfered with would have finished ahead of the first mentioned horse had such interference not occurred” …. it may place the “offending” horse immediately after the horse interfered with”.

For the purposes of Rule 642, “interference” is defined as (where relevant):

(i) ….

(ii)  a horse jostling with another horse, unless it is proved that just jostling was caused by the fault of some other horse or Rider or that the horse or Rider jostled was partly at fault with or

(iii)  a horse itself, or its Rider, in any way interfering with another horse … unless it is proved that such interference was caused by the fault of some other horse or Rider or that the horse or Rider interfered with was partly at fault.

Under the Rule, it is not necessary for the Rider to be “at fault” provided a horse interferes with another.  The Adjudicative Committee was comfortably satisfied that interference in terms of the Rule occurred in the final 100 metres, that without which “SUPERBLY WRITTEN” would have finished ahead of “STILL BANGON” given the nature of the interference and the extremely slim margin of a minute nose (in fact only about 2 inches), that the protest was upheld.  Accordingly, the revised placings were:


2nd    STILL BANGON (5)

3rd     SATIN DOLL (3)

4th     SAY I DO (9)

5th     PROMETHEUS (2)

The expanded reasons for this Decision follow.

The evidence established that “SUPERBLY WRITTEN”, was finishing strongly in the straight to come up alongside “STILL BANGON” which had been leading.  That horse moved outwards to come into contact with “SUPERBLY WRITTEN”, which was impeded for 4 strides.  That horse’s entitled line was dictated by that jostling so as to impede Mr McNab’s mount from going fast, because his mount’s momentum was affected.  Ms Spratt said “SUPERBLY WRITTEN”, “came in a bit”, and Mr McNab’s mount “had every chance to get past me”.  The Adjudicative Committee did not accept those submissions.  After the movement out and contact had led to Mr McNab’s mount being unbalanced and impeded for 4 strides, Ms Spratt straightened her mount to move it in slightly, but not because of any improper movement by “SUPERBLY WRITTEN”.

The finish was desperately close (“head bobbing”) – the photo finish image depicted the slimmest of nose margins – no more than 2 inches.  Mrs Spratt’s claim that Mr McNab had “every chance to get past me” ignored the matter that but for being impeded by “STILL BANGON”, Mr McNab’s mount “SUPERBLY WRITTEN” would, in the Adjudicative Committee’s opinion, have done so.  That is why the criteria specified in the Rule “in the opinion of the Adjudicative Committee [SUPERBLY WRITTEN] the horse interfered with would have finished ahead of [STILL BANGON]…. had such interference not occurred” was established.


In summary, the nature of the interference at the vital end stage of the race, where it occurred, and the consequences to “SUPERBLY WRITTEN”, together with the minute finishing margin between the 2 horses, had the Adjudicative Committee fully satisfied that there was a breach of the Rule which resulted in reaching the opinion as required in Rule 642(1), so as to uphold the Informant’s protest.

Decision Date: 15/09/2023

Publish Date: 18/09/2023