South Canterbury JC 28 December 2021 – R7 – Brett Murray
South Canterbury Racing Club
Phar Lap Raceway - State Highway 1, Washdyke, Timaru,
Phar Lap Raceway, Timaru
Penalty: Jockey, Brett Murray suspended 6 days and fined $800
Jockey Brett Murray was charged following Race 7, Craigmore Sustainable Holdings Timaru Cup (Listed Race), that as the Rider of WILLIAM WALLACE, he struck his mount six times prior to the 100 metres.
The Rule provides that a Rider must not strike a horse with a whip more than 5 times prior to the 100 metres.
Mr Oatham showed a video replay of the final 300 metres of the race. He pointed out WILLIAM WALLACE, ridden by Mr Murray, which had made a sweeping run wide to challenge the leaders at the 200 metres. Mr Oatham then showed that Mr Murray commenced using his whip and use it on a clear six occasions prior to the 100 metres.
Mr Murray said that he accepted the alleged count of six strikes. He added that he had been trying to count but he had got “carried away”.
Mr Murray has admitted the breach which is found proved accordingly.
SUBMISSIONS FOR PENALTY:
Mr Oatham said that Mr Murray has five previous breaches of the Whip Rule on his record. He outlined them as follows:
25 October at Otago – fined $150 for consecutive strikes
11 August at Riccarton – two breaches suspended 7 and 8 days (both 8 strikes before the 100 metres)
7 August at Riccarton – fined $600 (8 strikes prior to the 100 metres)
2 July at Otago – fined $300 (8 strikes before the 100 metres)
Mr Oatham said that Mr Murray has struggled with his whip use in the past and his record is poor. However, his most recent breach for whip strikes prior to the 100 metres was over 4 months ago. Mr Murray has made good progress since that time, with only the relatively minor breach of two consecutive strikes. He should receive some credit for the effort he has made, Mr Oatham said. The breach today was described by Mr Oatham as “relatively minor”, being only one strike over the permitted number, he said. His whip use had made no difference to the result of the race, he said, as Mr Murray had gone on to win the race by 3 1/2 lengths. The Race was a Listed Race for a total stake of $60,000, Mr Oatham said.
The NZTR Penalty Guide only goes up to a 4th offence starting point (5-plus national day suspension plus 50% of the jockey’s share of the stake). Mr Murray’s share of the stake, in this instance, is $862.50, Mr Oatham said. He submitted that a term of suspension in the range of 5-6 days would be appropriate, in addition to a fine.
Mr Murray said that he had declared rides at the meeting of Kurow JC on 30 December and requested that any suspension commence immediately after that meeting.
REASONS FOR PENALTY:
It is unfortunate that this is Mr Murray’s fifth breach of the Whip Rules. It is, however, a low-level breach. The NZTR Revised Guidelines provide for a 5-plus national days suspension plus a fine as a fourth offence starting point. The Committee has uplifted that starting point by one day for this being a fifth breach by Mr Murray.
The Committee notes that the Race was a Listed Race and that Mr Murray’s mount won the Race. The ease of the win satisfied the Committee that no advantage was gained by the excessive whip use, and the status of the Race is acknowledged in the fine of 50% of Mr Murray’s share of the stake. A fine of $800 in this case is a significant one for a South Island Jockey with limited opportunities, and will no doubt take a lot of the gloss off the win for him.
It is partly with this in mind that the suspension uplift for a fifth breach is kept to a minimum.
Jockey, Brett Murray, is suspended from after the close of racing on 30 December 2021 up to and including 6 January 2022 – 6 national riding days. In addition, Mr Murray is fined the sum of $800.
Decision Date: 28/12/2021
Publish Date: 30/12/2021