Waikato TR 10 February 2024 – R4 – Joe Doyle

ID: RIB38818

Joe Doyle - Jockey

Mr B Jones - Senior Stipendiary Steward

Mr G Jones and Mr A Smith

Persons Present:
Mr B Jones, Mr Oatham, Mr Doyle

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

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Jockey Joe Doyle is suspended 7 days and fined $1,250


This charge arises from the running of Race 4, the Group 2 David & Karyn Ellis Fillies Classic ($175,000).  Senior Stipendiary Steward, Mr B Jones filed an Information pursuant to Rule 638(1)(d) alleging the Rider of MOLLY BLOOM (J Doyle), allowed his mount to shift inwards when not sufficiently clear causing crowding to SUDBINA (K Asano), LIVID SKY (S Weatherley) and POSITIVITY (M Hashizume), with POSITIVITY being checked near the 150 metres.

Mr Doyle acknowledged that 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 (including head and side-on as well as overhead drone footage), Chief Stipendiary Steward Mr J Oatham demonstrated the incident and identified the horses and Riders named in the Information.  He pointed out that rounding the home turn into the straight, MOLLY BLOOM was six or seven horse widths wide out on the track and challenging for the lead. At that point, MOLLY BLOOM commenced to shift in under pressure, and Mr Doyle continued to ride forward.  He briefly corrected his mount and again continued to ride forward.  MOLLY BLOOM lay inwards again and caused crowding to SUDBINA, LIVID SKY and POSITIVITY, who was checked. Mr Oatham said that a mitigating factor in Mr Doyle’s favour was that POSITIVITY did receive some pressure from the horse(s) on its inside, which may have contributed to that horse being checked.

MOLLY BLOOM won the race.

By way of explanation, Mr Doyle told the Adjudicative Committee that he agreed with the Stewards’ interpretation of the breach “for the most part”. He said that his mount quickened into the straight and commenced to wander about (inwards).  He said that although the horses to his inside were crowded, they also suffered pressure from the inside.


As Mr Doyle admitted the breach, the Adjudicative Committee found the charge proved.

Submissions for Penalty:

Mr Jones submitted that Mr Doyle has incurred three previous careless riding breaches during the past 12 months:

10/12/23 – 5 days

27/09/23 – 5 days

18/03/23 – 8 days (The Oaks)

Mr Jones said Stewards assessed the level of carelessness to be in the low to mid-range.

He said that aggravating factors including the status of the race (Group 2) and the stakes payable ($101,500 to the race winner).  Also, because the breach occurred in a ‘Black Type’ Race, a percentage of Mr Doyle’s share of the stake earned should be added to any proposed penalty by way of a fine.  He added that mitigating factors included Mr Doyle admission of the breach and his good riding record, which includes 720 rides during the past 12 months.

Mr Doyle sought a deferment to any proposed suspension until after racing on 11 February 2024. He said that he is a very busy national Rider with a good overall record.

Reasons for Penalty:

After considering the submissions and reviewing the race film, the Adjudicative Committee determined Mr Doyle’s carelessness to be low to mid-range and adopted a 6-day (suspension) as the starting point.

The available films clearly established that Mr Doyle allowed his mount to shift in under pressure when less than one length clear of SUDBINA, who in turn was crowded onto LIVID SKY and POSITIVITY, who was the most affected runner after having received a check.   To his credit, Mr Doyle did take belated corrective action on two occasions, but this was to no avail, as it was too late.  The films confirmed that HARLOW ROCKS, who was racing near the running rail, did shift out slightly and dictated MARY SHAN outwards into the running line of POSITIVITY.  However, when this occurred, MOLLY BLOOM had already commenced to lay in.

From the 6-day starting point, in accordance with Rule 920(2), a two-day uplift is applied due to the status of the race and the stakes payable. In consideration of Mr Doyle’s very good record and his admission of the breach, a one day reduction is applied. Further, as per the NZTR Guidelines for Whip Rule breaches, a fine of $1,250 is imposed due to the breach having occurred in a Black Type Race.

After considering the above factors, the Adjudicative Committee deemed a 7-day suspension and $1,250 fine to be appropriate in the circumstances.


The Adjudicative Committee granted Mr Doyle a deferment to his suspension. Accordingly, his Licence to ride in races is suspended for a period of 7 days, commencing after racing on 11 February 2024 and concluding after racing on 23 February 2024.

Decision Date: 10/02/2024

Publish Date: 12/02/2024