Winton HRC 23 September 2023 – R4 – Craig Ferguson

ID: RIB27795

Craig Ferguson - Driver

Mr Vinny Munro, Stipendiary Steward

Geoff Hall

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Careless Driving

869(3)(b) - Riding/driving infringement


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Winton Harness Racing Club

Race Location:
Winton Racecourse - Racecourse Road, Winton, 9720

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver Craig Ferguson suspended 2 days

Mr Munro alleged that Mr Ferguson drove carelessly into the first bend in Race 4 when shifting ground outwards, hampering an outside runner that broke.

Mr Munro demonstrated that Mr Ferguson was racing on the markers when he shifted outwards on the first bend, inconveniencing Mr McIlwrick, who was racing  to his outside.  Mr McIlwrick was tightened and shifted outwards. Mr Douglas, who was to Mr McIlwrick’s outside, was hampered and his horse broke.

Mr Ferguson said he had made a misjudgement. He had thought there was room for him to shift out into a space that had become available, but it was clear now that there was not. He thought the outside horse might have shifted down just a little at the same time. He accepted, however, that matters had become tight because he had shifted out. He reiterated he thought there was a gap to Mr McIlwrick, but there was not.

Mr Munro stated that Mr Douglas’ horse had galloped for some 30 metres, losing some ground, before returning to its correct gait.


As Mr Ferguson has admitted the breach, it is found to be proved.

Submissions for Penalty

Mr Munro produced the Respondent’s record, which was very good, with no breaches of this Rule in the past 12 months.  Mr Munro said Mr Ferguson had had 3203 lifetime drives, 174 this season and 219 the last. He described this record as excellent. He believed the breach was around mid-range as Mr Ferguson had received a run he might not otherwise have got.

Mr Ferguson stated the breach was low range. He believed he would have got out and received the run anyway. He wished the suspension to start immediately.

Reasons for Penalty

Mr Ferguson has shifted ground outwards when not clear of outside runners. He has caused tightening on the bend and Mr Douglas’ horse has galloped and lost some 30 metres as a consequence.

The breach is at the bottom of mid-range. From a 3-day starting point, as per the Penalty Guide, there is a one-day reduction for admission and Mr Ferguson’s excellent record.


Mr Ferguson is suspended from the end of racing today, up to and including 29 September 2023. This is 2 days.

Decision Date: 23/09/2023

Publish Date: 26/09/2023