Wellington RC 24 October, 2021 – R 4 – Protest RUN TO PERFECTION
RUN TO PERFECTION
Wellington Racing Club
Trentham - 10 Racecourse Rd, Upper Hutt, 5018
Outcome: Protest Upheld
Penalty: protest upheld
SUMMARY OF FACTS:
Following Race 4 (IRT Sprint) Rider, K Asano lodged an objection against the 2nd and 3rd placed runners pursuant to Rule 642(1).
The Information alleged that horse numbers 1 (DEERFIELD) and 2 (LONDON EXPRESS) or their Riders placed 2nd and 3rd respectively by the Judge interfered with the chances of horse number 4 (RUN TO PERFECTION) placed 4th by the judge.
1st MEHRTENS (5)
2ND DEERFIELD (1)
3rd LONDON EXPRESS (2)
4th RUN TO PERFECTION (4)
The official margins between 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed horses were: long neck/short head
Prior to hearing from the Connections all four (head-on, side-on, rear view and 800-turn) video angles were played and the horses involved identified by the Stewards. RUN TO PERFECTION (K Asano) had LONDON EXPRESS (C Jones) to its outside and DEERFIELD (S O’Malley) to its inside. The incident occurred soon after straightening for home. The videos were allowed to run right through to the finish and again in synchronization.
Mr Asano said he was 3- wide and following the eventual winner (MEHRTENS) when LONDON EXPRESS racing to his outside started to move inwards onto him. At the same time, DEERFIELD who was to his inside moved outwards. He tried unsuccessfully to hold his position but received a decent check and became unbalanced. With a clear run Mr Asano said he would have run 2nd or even got close to the winner. The track conditions today meant that any loss of momentum was significant.
Mr Benner used the mowing strips to highlight the movement of the horses involved with DEERFIELD moving outwards to a greater degree than LONDON EXPRESS moved inwards. He said RUN TO PERFECTION was “poleaxed” by DEERFIELD costing Mr Asano three lengths who then got to within a neck of the two horses at the finish. Mr Benner said there was no doubt in his mind that the incident cost RUN TO PERFECTION 2nd place.
Mr Sharrock admitted that LONDON EXPRESS moved marginally off her line but said when DEERFIELD “cannoned” into RUN FOR PEREFECTION his filly was also bumped and inconvenienced. Mr Jones, the rider of LONDON EXPRESS, said that the ground today caused the horses to get unbalanced. In his view it was DEERFIELD who was responsible for the interference.
Ms Bambry said there was no doubt there was movement from both inside and outside horses but had RUN TO PERFECTION been going well enough it would have been able to take the gap. Coming from the shute onto the course proper Mr Asano did not have the momentum to get up and through the gap. Ms Bambry maintained there wasn’t really a gap there for Mr Assano and his horse was inexperienced compared to the other two horses. When he got into fresh air he was able to let down but he had 400m to catch up and didn’t.
Mr O’Malley said while there was a gap for Mr Asano to go through, the gap was going faster and he was only half into it at the time of the incident.
For the Stewards Mr Goodwin said the protest had some merit. There was considerable movement from both LONDON EXPRESS and DEERFIELD when Mr Asano was in the gap between them. He had to check his mount and lost at least 2 lengths of ground. The margins at the finish were less than that, being a long neck and a short head.
REASON FOR DECISION:
Rule 642(1) states:
If a placed horse or its Rider causes interference within the meaning of this Rule 642 to another placed horse and the Judicial Committee is of the opinion that the horse so interfered with would have finished ahead of the first-mentioned horse had such interference not occurred, they may place the first mentioned horse immediately after the horse interfered with.
There are two parts to the Protest Rule. In the first instance the Committee has to be satisfied that interference occurred, and if so there follows a discretion to change the placings.
The protest today had one “victim” and two “perpetuators” however it was expedient to hear all the evidence together. Four different angles provided a clear picture of the incident with the rear-view and the 800m turn view being the most useful. RUN TO PERFECTION lost significant ground when running out of room between LONDON EXPRESS and DEERFIELD soon after turning for home. All the evidence pointed to the gap closing as a result of LONDON EXPRESS initially rolling inwards approximately 1 horse-width closely followed by DEERFIELD angling out 2 horse-widths. The Committee was satisfied that both 2nd and 3rd placed horses contributed to the interference that resulted in Mr Asano being squeezed out of a gap between them. The first part of the Rule was established.
Relegation is however not automatic. In order to ascertain whether or not the interference influenced the final placings the Committee looked at how much ground RUN TO PERFECTION lost, and the manner in which the horse finished off the race. The 800m camera angle in particular showed the dramatic and immediate effect the interference had on Mr Asano’s mount when the gap closed. The films showed RUN TO PERFECTION’S head came up, it checked sharply backwards and lost a good couple of lengths and momentum. Mr Asano was forced to angle to the outside, rebalance and get going again. He then finished strongly making up considerable ground on the place getters. Taking into account the degree of interference, the manner in which RUN TO PERFECTION ran to the line and the combined margins the Committee concluded it was reasonably likely that with a clear run Mr Asano would have finished in 2nd place. Both protests were upheld.
Revised placings are:
1st MEHRTENS (5)
2nd RUN TO PERFECTION (4)
3rd DEERFIELD (1)
4th LONDON EXPRESS (2)
Authorisation to pay dividends on the revised placings and stake money was approved.
Decision Date: 24/10/2021
Publish Date: 26/10/2021