Whangarei RC 12 April 2023 – R3 – HARRY GEE

ID: RIB18569

Vinnie Colgan - Jockey

Mr A Dooley - Stipendiary Steward

Adam Smith

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Request for Ruling

632(1) - Other

Request for Ruling:
Runner Denied a fair start

Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Whangarei Racing Club

Race Location:
Ruakaka Racecourse - Peter Snell Road, Ruakaka, 0151

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Ruakaka Racecourse

Outcome: Determination

Penalty: HARRY GEE declared a runner


Following the running of Race 3, the Applicant A Dooley, Stipendiary Steward lodged an Information Requesting a Ruling pursuant to Rules 918(1) and 632(1) to establish whether HARRY GEE was denied a fair start.

HARRY GEE did not finish in the first four placings.

The basis for the request was due to HARRY GEE being slow to leave its barrier and consequently it lost considerable ground at the start.

Rule 632(1) provides “If, in the opinion of the Adjudicative Committee, a horse which does not finish in the first four placing’s was prevented from taking an effective part in a race owing to the mechanical failure of starting stalls, or is denied a fair start and such occurrence materially prejudiced the chances of that horse (but not where the horse is slow away of its own accord), the Adjudicative Committee may declare such horse to be a non-starter.”

Submission for Decision:

Using the head-on and other available race films, Mr Dooley, Stipendiary Steward, demonstrated the start of the race. He showed footage for some time prior to the start which illustrated that HARRY GEE had been very fractious and required the assistance of a Barrier Attendant to try and settle it. As the stalls opened, HARRY GEE took a backward step in an attempt to rear and then jumped in the air, beginning very awkwardly. As a result, HARRY GEE lost considerable ground.

The Rider of HARRY GEE (V Colgan), submitted that the horse had been up in the air on a number of occasions. In a response to a question from the Stipendiary Stewards, Mr Colgan said that the Attendant had a hold of his mount’s rein when the barriers opened.

In response to a question from the Adjudicative Committee, Mr Colgan said that the Attendant’s holding of the rein was a safety aspect and didn’t necessarily result in the horse beginning awkwardly.

The Adjudicative Committee asked for the Stewards’ interpretation of the start. Mr Dooley said that it was his opinion that HARRY GEE started poorly due to its manners.

Reasons for Decision:

The Adjudicative Committee carefully considered the submissions presented and reviewed the various available camera angles of the race start.

The Adjudicative Committee noted that HARRY GEE was slow to leave the barrier and lost considerable ground. There was no evidence of a mechanical fault to do with the starting gates, but rather the horse was slow to leave the barrier on its own accord due to its poor manners. While the Adjudicative Committee identified the Attendant had a hold of the left rein of HARRY GEE when the barriers opened, it was clear that HARRY GEE had propped on its hind legs and then jumped in the air, resulting in a slow and awkward beginning.

Accordingly, this was found to be the primary reason for HARRY GEE being slow to leave the barrier.


Accordingly, under the provisions of the Rule, the Adjudicative Committee was of the opinion that  although HARRY GEE began slowly, it was not denied a fair start, and the payment of dividends is authorised.

Decision Date: 12/04/2023

Publish Date: 14/04/2023