Wyndham HRC 12 October 2023 – R3 – Alex Milne
Wyndham Harness Racing Club
Wyndham Racecourse - Alma St, Wyndham, 9892
Penalty: Driver, Alex Milne suspended 3 days
Mr Renault alleged that in Race 3 Mr Milne (LA MOTH) used his whip with more than a wrist flicking motion and in a continuous manner in the run home.
Mr Renault demonstrated the incident on the videos. As the field exited the home bend and proceeded to race down the straight, the Respondent, who was racing one out near the lead, used his wrist in a non-compliant action.
Mr Renault also said that while early in the straight there were some pauses, the Stewards believed it was in a continuous manner from the 150 metre mark to the finish. There were 3 or 4 non-compliant strikes at the top of straight and 2 or 3 in the middle stages. He added it was the continuous nature of the latter strikes that was of the greater concern to the Stewards.
Mr Milne said he was attempting to comply with the Rule and questioned whether he was in breach. He believed his arm movement was no different to that of Mr N Williamson who was racing to his outside, who had stopped using the whip once he had no chance of winning. It was a matter of interpretation; other Drivers were using their arms as much as he was. He said LA MOTH was a horse that he had to keep at in order for it to respond. He was doing so to get a result for the Owners.
Mr Renault responded that Mr Williamson was pushing upwards, and Mr Barclay to Mr Milne’s inside was breaking up his use of the whip. He added that Mr Milne was not giving his horse time to respond to his urgings with the whip.
The videos are clear and demonstrate that Mr Milne has used the whip early in the home with his elbow engaged. In the heat of the close finish and when trying to get the best out of the horse, he has also used his whip in a continuous manner.
The charge is found to be proved.
Submissions as to penalty
Mr Renault produced the Respondent’s record which showed that Mr Milne has had 59 drives this season. He had a previous breach on 1 September when he was suspended for 2 days.
Mr Milne did not seek a deferment of the penalty.
Decision as to penalty
Mr Milne has used his whip in breach of the Whip Rule and the Whip and Rein Regulations in the home straight. At the top of the straight it is with more than a wrist action and closer to the finish it is in a continuous fashion.
The Penalty Guide provides a starting point of a 3-day suspension for a second breach. There are no aggravating or mitigating factors. A penalty at the starting point is appropriate.
Mr Milne is suspended for 3 days. This starts after the meeting today and is up to and including 5 November 2023.
Decision Date: 12/10/2023
Publish Date: 18/10/2023