Waikato RC 29 September 2023 – R1- Craig Grylls

ID: RIB27847

Craig Grylls - Jockey

Mr A Dooley - Stipendiary Steward

Mr Adam Smith (Chair), M Godber

Persons Present:
Mr G Stewart - Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Riding

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


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Waikato Thoroughbred Racing

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

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Te Rapa Racecourse

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Jockey Craig Grylls is suspended for 4 days


Following the running of Race 1, 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 outwards when not sufficiently clear of FARRAVALLO, which was checked losing ground near the 200m. 

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 G Stewart demonstrated the incident and identified the horses and Riders concerned.

Mr Stewart said that approaching the 200 metre mark, the Respondent has his horse’s head pointing outwards and shifts ground when insufficiently clear of Mr Weatherley’s mount, who has to take a decent hold and is checked.

In response, Mr Grylls said he was looking to make a run outside the leader, which was a little green. He said there was enough room for both himself and Mr Weatherley to be there. He said despite the fact the leader was clear, it did shift out in front of him when he was trying to improve forward. He said as a result, there was a concertina effect with Mr Weatherley’s mount and his own funnelling together. He said it wasn’t his intention to take Mr Weatherley’s line of running.


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

Submission for Penalty:

Stipendiary Steward A Dooley produced the Respondent’s riding record which indicated 1 previous breaches under the Careless Riding Rule in the last 12 months.

18/3/23               Wellington 4 day Penalty

The Respondent C Grylls has had 848 mounts in the past 12 months.

Stipendiary Steward  A Dooley said Stewards assessed the level of carelessness to be in the low-mid range. Mr Dooley commented that Mr Grylls’ record was very good.

The Respondent advised of riding engagements through until the 7th of October and sought a deferment to any proposed suspension.

In terms of any proposed penalty, the Respondent submitted he was a very careful Rider with a good record.

Reasons for Penalty:

After considering all submissions, the Adjudicative Committee determined the Respondent’s carelessness to be in the low-mid range and adopted a 6-day (suspension) as the starting point. This conforms with the NZTR Penalty Guide (as of 1 March 2022).

The available films clearly established that the Respondent and the affected horse were racing in tight quarters near the 200m and were attempting to both take a narrow run between the leader and horses to the outer. While Mr Grylls was trying to shift Mr Weatherley’s ride out to create room, Mr Weatherley was trying to keep him in. As this was occurring, the leader commenced to lay out and while clear of the trailing runners, it placed further pressure on the space that was available. Mr Grylls should have taken a hold to relieve the pressure, but did not do so and as a result, he checked Mr Weatherley’s mount.

Mr Grylls’ riding record is considered excellent, having had 1 previous breach from 848 rides in the previous 12 months and along with his admission of the breach, this is treated as a significant mitigating factor. There is also some, albeit limited mitigation applied in relation to the lead runner laying out towards TO CATCH A THIEF. To reflect the mitigating factors, a 2-day reduction to the starting point is applied.

After consideration of the above factors, a 4-day suspension was imposed.


The Respondent’s request for a deferment is granted and his Licence to ride in races is suspended for a period of 4 days, commencing after racing on 7/10/23 and concluding after racing on 13/10/23.

Decision Date: 29/09/2023

Publish Date: 02/10/2023