Waikato RC 11 February 2023 – R4 – Warren Kennedy

ID: RIB15565

Warren Kennedy - Jockey

Mr B Jones - Senior Stipendiary Steward

G Jones and A Smith

Persons Present:
Mr Jones, Mr Dooley, Mr Kennedy

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Riding

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


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Waikato Racing Club

Race Location:
Te Rapa Racecourse - Te Rapa Road, Hamilton, 3200

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Te Rapa Racecourse

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Jockey Warren Kennedy is suspended for 7 days and fined $750


Following the running of Race 4, the Respondent Class A Rider Mr W Kennedy, admitted a charge of careless riding which was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d).  The Information alleged that as the Rider of PROWESS “he permitted his mount to shift in when not sufficiently clear of SAKURA GIRL who was dictated inwards forcing MALFY ROSA inwards into the line of GET LIT which had to be checked approaching the 1700 metres”. 

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, Stipendiary Steward Mr Dooley demonstrated the incident and identified the horses and Riders concerned.  He said that approaching the 1700 metre mark, the Respondent Mr Kennedy, shifted ground inward when not clear of SAKURA GIRL.  He said as a result, SAKURA GIRL was dictated in, and in turn, forced MALFY ROSA into GET LIT, who was checked.

In response, M Kennedy said that when he shifted in, he did not “put too much pressure on Mr Asano’s mount (SAKURA GIRL)” and added that as soon as he heard riders on his inside “shout out”, he relieved the pressure.


As the Respondent admitted the breach, the Adjudicative Committee finds the breach proved

Submission for Penalty:

Stipendiary Steward Mr Jones produced Mr Kennedy’s riding record, which indicated no previous breaches under the Careless Riding Rules since commencing race riding in New Zealand (ex-South Africa) on 19 October 2022.  Since his arrival he has had 235 race rides.

Mr Jones also pointed out that Mr Kennedy incurred two suspensions in South Africa in the 12 months prior to his arrival in New Zealand, for breaches said to be similar to the NZ Racing Careless Riding Rule.

Mr Jones said Stewards assessed the level of carelessness to be in the low to mid – range.  He said that the breach occurred in a Group 2 Race and PROWESS won the race.

The Respondent sought a deferment to any proposed until after racing on 18 February 2023. Mr Kennedy said that the breach was the result of “a lapse of judgement”.  He said that he otherwise had a particularly good riding record.

Reasons for Penalty:

After considering all submissions the Adjudicative Committee determined Mr Kennedy’s level of carelessness to be in the low to mid-range and adopted a 6-day (suspension) as the starting point.

The available films clearly established that after leaving the barrier at the 2000 metre start point, PROWESS was racing wide on the track as the field approached the first bend out of the home straight.  It was evident that Mr Kennedy allowed his mount to shift inward, placing pressure on SAKURA GIRL who was dictated inwards causing two runners to be affected, with GET LIT being checked.  The shift was gradual but there were consequences to three other runners, to a degree exacerbated by the fact that the leaders were 3 and 4 wide approaching the bend.

Since his arrival in New Zealand in October 2022, Mr Kennedy has been a sought-after Rider (235 race rides).  He has an excellent record under the Careless Riding Rule. His South African record was noted, but limited weight was placed on it as the circumstances of his two previous breaches are not known.  On that basis a 1-day reduction was applied to the 6-day starting point for his admission of the breach and New Zealand record.

Rule 920(2) empowers an Adjudicative Committee in imposing a penalty, to have due regard to such matters as it considers appropriate including: (a) the Status of the Race; (b) the stake payable in respect of the Race.; and / or (c) the consequences.  On this occasion due to the status of the race, stakes and the consequences to the affected runners, the Adjudicative Committee applied a two-day uplift and imposed a $750 fine.

After consideration of the above factors, a 7-day suspension and $750 fine was imposed.


The Respondent’s request for a deferment is granted and his licence to ride in races is suspended for a period of 7 days, commencing after racing on 18 February and concluding after racing on 2 March 2023.

In addition, a fine of $750 is imposed.

Decision Date: 11/02/2023

Publish Date: 13/02/2023