Winton HRC 30 June 2023 – R5 – RUBY SEDDON

ID: RIB24787

Doug McLachlan - Trainer

Brett Gray - Trainer

Geoff Hall

Persons Present:
Mr Vinny Munro - Stipendiary Steward; Mr Doug McLachlan -Trainer

Information Number:

Decision Type:

869A(2) - 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: Protest Dismissed

Penalty: N/A

Mr Gray, the Trainer of the 2nd placed horse, VELOCITY JET, alleged that the 1st placed horse in Race 5, RUBY SEDDON, had interfered with the chances of VELOCITY JET. He sought the relegation of RUBY SEDDON to behind VELOCITY JET. The winning margin was a neck.

The Judge’s placings were:

1st        RUBY SEDDON

2nd       VELOCITY JET



Mr Munro, Stipendiary Steward, played the incident on the various video angles. These demonstrated that, as RUBY SEDDON entered the first bend, the horse broke from its gait and galloped. COOL PHELAN, which was racing behind RUBY SEDDON, also galloped and as a consequence, VELOCITY JET and ABACARDI HAZEL also lost their gait.

Mr Gray stated that COOL PHELAN only galloped because RUBY SEDDON had broken and come back on to COOL PHELAN. RUBY SEDDON, breaking from its gait, had consequentially interfered with the chances of VELOCITY JET.  He said COOL PHELAN had had nowhere to go when RUBY SEDDON broke, and the horse would not have galloped had it not being trying to get off the back of RUBY SEDDON.

Mr McLachlan emphasised that COOL PHELAN was some 3 lengths behind RUBY SEDDON when it broke. He did not believe that RUBY SEDDON had come back on to COOL PHELAN causing it to break. He added the Driver of COOL PHELAN had had enough room to take evasive action.

Mr Munro stated he believed the distance was some 2½ to 3 lengths.

The videos evidence that 4 horses have broken from their gait on the first bend. The first horse to lose its gait is RUBY SEDDON. COOL PHELAN also breaks and subsequently interferes with VELOCITY JET and ABACARDI HAZEL. COOL PHELAN breaks quite some time after RUBY SEDDON loses its gait. Mr Anderson, the driver of COOL PHELAN, has taken hold of his horse before it gallops.  He has shifted ground outwards, perhaps half a cart width. This shifting of ground results in VELOCITY JET receiving pressure from its inside and losing its gait.

The Adjudicative Committee has to be satisfied that RUBY SEDDON has caused the interference to VELOCITY JET. Having regard to the distance that COOL PHELAN was behind RUBY SEDDON when that horse galloped and the actions of the Driver of COOL PHELAN, it is not so satisfied to the required standard of the balance of probabilities.

A further matter is that the Adjudicative Committee has to be satisfied that VELOCITY JET would have finished ahead of RUBY SEDDON. While VELOCITY JET is almost 20 metres behind RUBY SEDDON when the horse regains its gait, it is not a matter of simply comparing that margin with the winning one. The incident was a long way from the end of the race and it resulted in each horse getting a different run in the race as a consequence. RUBY SEDDON finished off the race well and ran past VELOCITY JET at the winning post. These matters would also have led the Adjudicative Committee to conclude that a changing of the placings was not warranted.

The protest is dismissed, and the placings are as called by the Judge.

Decision Date: 30/06/2023

Publish Date: 04/07/2023