R Tauranga 16 March 2024 – R5 – AQUILIFER

ID: RIB40072

Jasmine Jade Fawcett - Jockey

Mr R Trumper (Racing Manager)

Mr Mike Godber (Chair)

Persons Present:
Mr A Dooley, Mr R Trumper, Ms J Allen (Apprentice Jockey) both representing VALENTINE, Mr N Harris (Jockey Mentor assisting Ms J Allen), (Racing Manager), and Ms J Fawcett representing AQUILIFER. Mrs L Selvakumaran (Stipendiary Steward)

Information Number:

Decision Type:

642(1) - Riding/driving infringement - Protest


Second placed horse protests against first placed horse

Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Racing Tauranga Inc

Race Location:
Tauranga Racecourse - 1383 Cameron Road, Greerton, Tauranga,

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Tauranga Racecourse

Outcome: Protest Upheld

Penalty: Protest up held and placings amended accordingly


Following the running of Race number 5, an Information was filed Instigating a Protest pursuant to Rule 642(1). The Applicant, Mr R Trumper (Racing Manager), alleged that horse number 3 (AQUILIFER) placed 1st by the Judge interfered with the chances of horse number 2 (VALENTINE) placed 2nd by the Judge.

The interference was alleged to have occurred in the final straight.

The Judges’ provisional placings were as follows:

1st – No. 3 AQUILIFER

2nd – No. 2 VALENTINE



The official margin between first and second was a neck.

Rule 642(1) provides:

“If a placed horse or its rider causes interference within the meaning of this rule 642 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, they may place the first mentioned horse immediately after the horse interfered with”.

The standard of proof is on the balance of probabilities. In Thoroughbred Racing this standard is reached when the Adjudicative Committee is satisfied, on the basis of credible evidence, that the requirements of the Protest Rule have been met.

Submissions For Decision

Prior to hearing submissions from the respective parties, the Adjudicative Committee requested that Stewards show all available Race films of the alleged interference and identify the runners.

On behalf of the Applicant, Mr R Trumper referred to the Race films and demonstrated that at the 200-metre mark AQUILIFER, who was racing on the inside of VALENTINE, lay out when placed under pressure at about the 200 metre point.  In doing so, he said that VALENTINE being dictated wider, had been knocked and had to change legs. The interference meant that VALENTINE lost momentum. He felt Valentine had lost up to two lengths due to the interference. Ms Allen had had to sit up and stop riding VALENTINE.

AQUILIFER then continued to lay out forcing VALENTINE wider for a distance up to the 100 metres. As the winning margin was only a neck he considered that had the interference not taken place VALENTINE would have won the race.

Ms Allen submitted that she felt she had been dictated to all the way down the straight. At the 200 metres she had had to stop riding VALENTINE  for a moment and her horse lost momentum. But for the interference, VALENTINE would have won the race.

The Rider of AQUILIFER, Ms Fawcett stated that while AQUILIFER moved out she had spent the whole of the straight on one rein and had not been able to ride her horse out. VALENTINE had the whole straight to get past her horse and had not been able to do so. She considered it was impossible that VALENTINE would have got past AQUILIFER. She had sat up on her horse at the line and was still in front.

Senior Steward Mr Dooley, outlined the Stewards’ interpretation of the alleged interference. He said that the two horses were on level terms entering the home straight. AQUILIFER then lays out under pressure at the 200 metre point and VALENTINE had to shift out away from heels and as a result is three quarters of a length back. The Rider of VALENTINE (J Allen) has to sit up at that point. VALENTINE then gets back on level terms at the 100 metres. AQUILIFER had continued to layout forcing VALENTINE over extra ground.

He showed the back on film which he considered best illustrated how much ground VALENTINE had been forced over. Mr Dooley said that in the Steward’s view there was no doubt the protest had merit and that the Adjudicative Committee needed to determine whether the interference warranted a change of placings.

Reasons For Decision

In accordance with the requirements of the Protest Rule, the Adjudicative Committee must firstly establish that interference occurred; and secondly, if interference is established, the horse interfered with would have beaten the other runner, had such interference not occurred.

After hearing submissions and reviewing the video footage the Adjudicative Committee established that at approximately the 200 metre point AQUILIFER shifted out forcing VALENTINE outwards. Ms Allen had to momentarily stop riding VALENTINE, and the horse lost momentum. AQUILIFER continued to lay out after the 200 metre mark forcing VALENTINE wider covering more extra ground. VALENTINE was forced out approximately 4 horse widths.

The Adjudicative Committee is therefore satisfied that interference did take place. After considering the degree and nature of the interference, the loss of momentum caused by the interference, the additional ground VALENTINE was forced over, the fact that Ms Allen did have to momentarily stop riding and the neck margin at the finish, the Adjudicative Committee is of the opinion that, free of interference, VALENTINE would have beaten AQUILIFER.

On that basis, in the exercise of our discretion, the protest is upheld.


The protest was upheld and the amended placings were:

1st – No. 2 VALENTINE

2nd – No. 3 AQUILIFER

3rd – No.  7 SHE TURNS HEADS


The Adjudicative Committee authorised the payment of stakes and dividends in accordance with its decision.

Decision Date: 16/03/2024

Publish Date: 18/03/2024