Winton JC 10 October 2021 – R5 (request for a ruling) – Steve Tyler

ID: RIB5102

Steve Tyler - Trainer

Mr M Davidson - Stipendiary Steward

Mr Nigel Skelt

Persons Present:
Mr S Batt - Starter, Mr K Mudhoo - Jockey of King Cougar, Mr Tyler - Trainer of King Cougar and representing owners, Miss R Haley - Stipendiary Steward

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Request for Ruling

Request for ruling

632(2) - Riding/driving infringement


Request for Ruling:
Whether KING COUGAR gained an unfair advantage when charging the gates which opened prematurely

Animal Name:
King Cougar


Race Date:

Race Club:
Winton Jockey Club

Race Location:
Ascot Park Raceway - 29 Findlay Road, Ascot, Invercargill, 9810

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Ascot Park

Outcome: Determination

Penalty: N/A


At the conclusion of Race 5 the Commercial Hotel Winton and Country Jewel Winton Cup 1400m, an Information 15869 was lodged by Stipendiary Steward Mr M Davidson requesting a ruling as to whether King Cougar (K Mudhoo) gained an unfair advantage when charging the gates which opened prematurely.

Mr Tyler was present as the Trainer of King Cougar and Mr K Mudhoo as the Rider of King Cougar and Mr S Batt was also present as the Official Starter of the race.

The Rule reads: 632(2)

If in the opinion of the Committee any horse gained an unfair advantage by its barrier stall malfunctioning and opening, or being forced by such horse, open prior to the starter effecting a start, such a horse may be declared a non starter.

Judge’s placings:

1st   Silent Battler

2nd  King Cougar

3rd   Firoden

4th   So Much Mour


Mr Davidson asked Miss Haley to highlight on the video clips the start of the race which were slowed down frame by frame. Mr Davidson alleged that King Cougar had charged the gates prematurely prior to the start of releasing them and by doing so King Cougar was at least half to three quarters length clear of the rest of the field before the gates opened and as a result gained an advantage.

Mr Batt the Official Starter in his initial statement prior to seeing the video clips believed that King Cougar had made a brilliant start however on reviewing the video clips he clearly stated that the horse had in fact charged the gates prematurely and had clearly gained an advantage.

Mr Mudhoo, the Rider of King Cougar, stated that he had heard a call from Mrs Williams (Irish Excuse) to the Starter, who was the last horse to be loaded that she was ready and he then reacted pushing his horse forward anticipating the start. He acknowledged after viewing the video clip that the horse was at least half a length in front of the field when the remainder of the field were released.

Mr Tyler believed that Mr Mudhoo had simply anticipated the start and that his horse King Cougar did not gain an advantage. He also stated that his horse in its previous racing had never charged the gates.


After considering the verbal evidence carefully and the video clips of the incident it was clearly evident that King Cougar has charged the starting gates, prior to the Starter Mr Batt pushing the button to release the gates. The video evidence in particular is compelling, highlighting that King Cougar was at least half a length clear of the rest of the field and in doing so has gained a clear advantage over the rest of the runners.

Under the provisions of Rule 632(2)  the Committee declared King Cougar is therefore a non runner.

The official Judge’s placings now read:

1st   Silent Battler

2nd  Firoden

3rd  So Much Mour

4th  Kilowatt

Decision Date: 10/10/2021

Publish Date: 11/10/2021