Riccarton Park – Canterbury JC 11 November 2023 – R9 – Craig Grylls

ID: RIB29615

Craig Grylls - Jockey

John Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward

Stewart Ching (Chair) Russell McKenzie

Persons Present:
Craig Grylls - Class A Rider, John Oatham - Chief Stipendiary Steward, Mark Davidson - Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Riding

638(1)(d) - Riding/driving infringement


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Canterbury Jockey Club

Race Location:
Riccarton Park - 165 Racecourse Road, Christchurch,

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Riccarton Park

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Jockey Craig Grylls is suspended for 9 National Days and fined $1350


Following the running of Race 9 , the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai 51st New Zealand 2000 Guineas, the Respondent Class A Rider Craig Grylls admitted a charge of careless riding which was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d).  The Information alleged that as the Rider of  TO CATCH A THIEF he allowed his mount to shift in when not clear of HERBERT which was crowded and checked near the 1450m.  

The Respondent acknowledged he understood the Rule and confirmed his admission of the breach.

Rule 638(1)(d) provides: A Rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Adjudicative Committee considers to be careless.

Using the available race films, Chief Stipendiary Steward John Oatham, with the assistance of Stipendiary Steward, Mark Davidson, demonstrated the incident and identified the horses and Riders concerned. Mr Davidson pointed out that shortly after the start and approaching the 1450m, Mr Grylls, riding TO CATCH A THIEF, was racing 3 to 4 wide and looking to shift down towards the rail with HERBERT, ridden by Kate Hercock, racing on the rail behind TO CATCH A THIEF, and improving forward.

Mr Oatham stated that prior to this incident, there was an incident when CROCETTI, which drew 1 at the barrier, jumped outwards as the start was made and crowded outside runners including TO CATCH A THIEF. He said that the field was just starting to settle again when this incident occurred.

Mr Davidson pointed out Mr Grylls shift down into the racing line of HERBERT when only 3/4 of a length clear and as a result, Ms Hercock was crowded, having to take evasive action and check her mount.

In response, the Respondent stated that he believed there was room when he first looked to shift down into the gap. He said that Ms Hercock did not call out and that she was rushing up on his inside at the time.

Submissions for Penalty:

Chief Stipendiary Steward Mr Oatham stated that Mr Grylls’ record in regard to this Rule showed 2 previous breaches being 18 March 2023 – 4 days and 29 September 2023 – Te Rapa – 4 days. He said that Mr Grylls was a very busy Rider, having had 842 rides over the previous 12 months.

Mr Oatham said Stewards assessed the level of carelessness to be in the mid-range which has a starting point of a 7 -day suspension. He stated that Mr Grylls’ record was a good one, considering the number of rides he has had over the prior 12 months.

The aggravating factor, Mr Oatham said, was the status of the race being Group 1 with a total stake of $600,000.

He also submitted that in these cases, a fine in conjunction with a suspension was standard, at a calculation of 50% of the Rider’s percentage. In this case, he said, TO CATCH A THIEF finished in 3rd place with a stake of $111,000. His calculation for a fine was $1,350.

The Respondent advised of riding engagements through until 18 November 2023 at Riccarton and sought a deferment to any proposed suspension.

In terms of any proposed penalty, the Respondent elected to make no submissions.

Reasons for Penalty:

After considering all submissions, the Adjudicative Committee agreed with the Stewards and determined the Respondent’s carelessness to be in the mid range, accordingly adopting a 7-day suspension as the starting point. This conforms with the NZTR Penalty Guide.

The aggravating factor was the status of the race – Group 1 with a stake of $600,000, warranting an uplift which was set at 3 days.

Mr Grylls’ frank admission of the breach and relatively good record warrants a discount, which was set at 1 day.

After consideration of the above factors, a 9-day suspension was imposed.

It was determined that a fine equivalent to 50% of Mr Grylls’ percentage of 3rd stake, $1350, be imposed in addition.


The Respondent’s request for a deferment is granted until after racing on 18 November 2023 at Riccarton, and his  Licence to ride in races is suspended for a period of 9 national days, commencing after racing on 18 November 2023 and concluding after racing on 2 December 2023. In addition, Mr Grylls is fined the sum of $1350.

Decision Date: 11/11/2023

Publish Date: 13/11/2023