Waikato RC 26 November 2022 – R8 – Craig Zackey
Waikato Racing Club
Te Rapa Racecourse - Te Rapa Road, Hamilton, 3200
Te Rapa Racecourse
Penalty: Jockey Craig Zackey is suspended for 5 days
Following the running of Race 8, Class A Rider Mr C Zackey defended a charge of careless riding which was filed pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d).
Particulars of the charge
That (Class A Rider C Zackey) permitted his mount to shift inwards when not sufficiently clear of SULABELLA which had to be checked passing the 1100 metres.
Rule 638(1)(d) provides:
A Rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Adjudicative Committee considers to be careless.
At the commencement of the hearing Mr Zackey confirmed that he wished to defend the charge. He endorsed the Information “I do not admit the breach of the rule.”
Senior Stipendiary Steward Mr B Jones advised the Adjudicative Committee that he intended to call two witnesses to prove the charge: namely Stipendiary Steward Mr A Dooley and the Rider of SULABELLA Mr W Kennedy.
Witness Mr Dooley
In support of his evidence, Mr Dooley used the available race films. He identified ALBATROSS (C Zackey) and SULABELLA (W Kennedy) near the 1100 metre mark. He pointed out that after the 1400 metre start, Mr Zackey allowed his mount to shift across from barrier 9. He said that SULABELLA, from barrier 10 was, at the same time seeking to ease in behind ALBATROSS. Near the 100 metres, SULABELLA ended up on the inside and behind ALBATROSS. Mr Dooley said that Mr Kennedy had to take a strong hold and check his mount because when ALBATROSS crossed, she was not her own length and one other clear of SULABELLA. In concluding his evidence, he pointed out that Mr Kennedy stood up on his irons to avoid running up onto the heels of ALBATROSS.
In response, Mr Zackey asked Mr Dooley whether he thought he was 1 ¼ lengths clear of Mr Kennedy’s mount. Mr Dooley reminded Mr Zackey that he was required to be his own length and one other clear when shifting and on that basis, he was in breach of the Rule.
Witness Mr Kennedy
Mr Kennedy confirmed that he was the Rider of SULABELLA. He stated that near the 1100 metres, he had to take hold of his mount, to avoid the heels of ALBATROSS because Mr Zackey “came over”. He said that at the time Mr Zackey was no more than 1 to 1 ¼ lengths clear. He said that at the time, he was allowing his mount to run freely because he was told she was inclined to “hang out in the running.”
In response, Mr Zackey asked Mr Kennedy if he was ever placed in a dangerous position as a result of the shift. Mr Kennedy replied that Mr Zackey was about 1 ¼ lengths clear – and I “ran into your heels”. He said that his mount “snatched at the bit when he took hold”, and then ran into the gap which was closing, as Mr Zackey’s mount came across.
Respondent Mr Zackey
Mr Zackey stated that when he crossed there was a gap. He said Riders must make a “split second moves” and he felt that he was entitled to shift. He also said that Mr Kennedy had stated that his horse “took the bit” and has run up onto the heels of his horse. He concluded his evidence by stating that he felt the gap and the opportunity was there for him to take.
At the conclusion of the evidence, the Adjudicative Committee requested Stewards to show all the available films including head, side, and rear (once again) on.
In summing up, Mr Jones said that in this case, Mr Zackey was careless because he was not his own length and one clear of Mr Kennedy’s mount when he shifted in. He submitted that at best he was no more than 1 ¼ lengths clear, and this was supported by the evidence of Mr Dooley and Mr Kennedy. He said that the requirement to be clear when shifting, is for safety reasons to give either horses or Riders an opportunity to react when they are crossed. He said that Mr Kennedy ran up onto the heels of ALBATROSS because Mr Zackey was never sufficiently clear when he crossed.
In summing up his case, Mr Zackey said that Mr Kennedy’s mount was giving him a hard time; it was pulling and was having trouble settling. His case was therefore, that he was entitled to cross, that it was the racing manners of SULABELLA that caused it to be checked.
Decision and Reasons
After reviewing the race films and evaluating the evidence, the Adjudicative Committee found the charge proved to the requisite standard.
A Rider is deemed to be careless when he or she fails to take reasonable steps to avoid causing interference, or causes interference by misjudgement or mistake. The test being whether the Rider exercised the degree of care and attention that a Rider would exercise if placed in the same circumstances. On this occasion, the Adjudicative Committee is of the opinion that Mr Zackey did not exercise the necessary care required of him under the circumstances.
Due to a sign or marker near the 1100 metre mark, the race films did not give an unimpeded side on view of the exact moment that SULABELLA raced up onto the heels of ALBATROSS, the films did however show Mr Zackey crossing, with Mr Kennedy in behind. Thereafter Mr Zackey was seen to turn and have a good look to his side, indicating he may have been aware an incident had occurred. The films show that ALBATROSS was never its own length and one other clear of SULABELLA. The films also show that SULABELLA received interference, and Mr Kennedy having to stand up on his irons to avoid running onto the heels of ALBATROSS. There is no other credible explanation as to why this interference occurred, other than ALBATROSS not being sufficiently clear. And this was supported by the evidence of Mr Dooley and Mr Kennedy. Mr Kennedy in particular stated that Mr Zackey was no more than 1 to ¼ lengths clear when he crossed.
Guidance can be taken from Rule 642(2)(b) which relates to ‘interference’ for the purpose of Rules 637 and 642:
(b) interference is defined as:
(i) a horse crossing another horse without being at least its own length and one other clear length in front of such other horse at the time of crossing;
(ii) a horse jostling with another horse, unless it is proved that such jostling was caused by the fault of some other horse or Rider or that the horse or Rider jostled with was partly at fault; or
(iii) a horse itself, or its Rider, in any way interfering with another horse or the Rider of another horse in a Race, unless it is proved that such interference was caused by the fault of some other horse or Rider or that the horse or Rider interfered with was partly at fault.
The above definition of interference relates to Rules 637 and 642, but it is a well-established Rule of practice that when Riders cross, they must be their own length and one other clear as is indicated in clause (i) of the definition.
Although Mr Zackey in his summing, up raised the question of SULABELLA’S racing manners, all Mr Kennedy had to say on this point was that he had been advised his mount was inclined to “hang out”, and that it “grabbed the bit” when he took hold to avoid the heels of ALBATROSS. In the opinion of the Adjudicative Committee, even if SULABELLA was racing ungenerously, it would not have run up onto the heels of ALBATROSS if that runner was sufficiently clear when it crossed.
Penalty Submission and Reasons for Penalty
Mr Jones submitted that Mr Zackey has recently commenced race riding in New Zealand, and has had 35 raceday mounts (in New Zealand) prior to the meeting today. He said that he previously rode in South Africa where his record for careless riding over the past 12 months included 3 breaches: namely:
28/10/22 – Keniworth RC – 7 days suspension
10/06/22 – Greyville RC – 7 days suspension
01/04/22 – Durbanville RC – 7 days suspension
Mr Jones submitted that Mr Zackey is a busy Rider, and his record should be treated as a neutral factor. He added that Stewards assessed this breach as low range.
In response, Mr Zackey asked the Adjudicative Committee for leniency. He said that in South Africa, suspensions are based on calendar days, as opposed to National Days in New Zealand. However, he did point out that there are race meetings in South Africa every day.
It was noted that Mr Zackey is to commence a period of suspension after racing on 26 November 2022 until after racing on 7 December 2022. On that basis any suspension imposed would need to commence from 8 December 2022.
Penalty and reasons
The Adjudicative Committee has assessed the level of carelessness to be in the low range which has a starting point of 5 days suspension. Mr Zackey’s South African riding history is treated as a neutral factor. Although he cannot be penalised for defending the charge, he cannot be given credit for admitting the breach that may have been afforded to him had he done so.
After considering all the factors, the Adjudicative Committee determined a 5-day suspension to be an appropriate penalty.
Accordingly, Mr Zackey’s license to ride in races is suspended for a period of 5 days. This will commence on 8 December 2022 until after racing on 16 December 2022.
Decision Date: 26/11/2022
Publish Date: 28/11/2022