Rangiora HRC 16 November 2022 – R3 (Request for a Ruling) – TREASURE TRAIL and ELEPHANTINTHEROOM

ID: RIB12938

Bob Butt - Driver, Brent Weaver - Trainer

Shane Renault, Stipendiary Steward

Russell McKenzie

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Request for Ruling

213(1) - Riding/driving infringement

Request for Ruling:
Whether runners denied fair start

Animal Name:
Treasure Trail / Elephantintheroom


Race Date:

Race Club:
Rangiora Harness Racing Club

Race Location:
Rangiora Racecourse - 312 Lehmans Road, Fernside, Rangiora, 7440

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Rangiora Racecourse, Racecourse

Outcome: Determination

Penalty: Treasure Trail and Elephantintheroom not denied fair starts


Following the running of Race 3, Rangiora HRC Remembers Margaret Vermeulen Mobile Pace, the Applicant Stipendiary Steward, Shane Renault, filed an Information requesting a ruling to determine whether TREASURE TRAIL (Bob Butt) and ELEPHANTINTHEROOM (trained by Brent Weaver) had been denied fair starts.

Rule 213 provides as follows:

(1)  A Stipendiary Steward at any time may scratch from a race or declare ineligible to start in a race until a specific condition is met any horse on all or any of the following grounds:

(j)  If the horse was denied a fair start and such occurrence materially prejudiced the chances of that horse.


The Applicant, Stipendiary Steward Shane Renault, pointed out on a video replay the three runners VALERIE VERDE (Katie Cox), which had drawn gate 1 in the 2000 metres mobile start Race, TREASURE TRAIL, driven by Mr Butt, drawn 2, and ELEPHANTINTHEROOM (Robbie Holmes), drawn on the second row, immediately behind TREASURE TRAIL.

Mr Renault showed on the video replay that VALERIE VERDE galloped late in the score-up and just before the start, and ran out causing interference to TREASURE TRAIL which went back on ELEPHANTINTHEROOM, causing interference to that runner and a number of others. The question for the Adjudicative Committee, Mr Renault said, was whether the interference had taken place before or after the start, resulting in the two runners being denied fair starts.

Having heard Mr Renault’s submissions and viewed the video replays, both Messrs Butt and Weaver accepted that, while VALERIE VERDE had galloped prior to the start, the interference had taken place after the start.


The Adjudicative Committee carefully reviewed the video replays of the start of the Race and considered the submissions of the parties. While it was clear that TREASURE TRAIL and ELEPHANTINTHEROOM had both suffered interference from the galloping VALERIE VERDE after the start, it was also clear that the interference had occurred after the start of the Race. Interference after the start cannot be considered in determining whether a runner has been denied a fair start.


The Adjudicative Committee ruled that neither TREASURE TRAIL nor ELEPHANTINTHEROOM was denied a fair start.

Decision Date: 16/11/2022

Publish Date: 17/11/2022