Wyndham HRC 12 October 2023 – R3 – Denis O’Connell

ID: RIB28557

Denis O’Connell - Driver

Mr Shane Renault, Stipendiary Steward

Geoff Hall

Persons Present:
Mr Renault, Mr O'Connell

Information Number:

Decision Type:
Race Related Charge

Causing another horse to contact track markers

869(7A)(c) - Riding/driving infringement


Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Wyndham Harness Racing Club

Race Location:
Wyndham Racecourse - Alma St, Wyndham, 9892

Race Number:

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Driver, Denis O'Connell fined $300

Mr Renault alleged that in Race 3, Mr O’Connell (FOUR STARZZZ SHIRAZ), shifted inwards on the final bend forcing KNOCKSHANBALLY over several track markers.

Mr Renault demonstrated on the videos that Mr O’Connell, the Driver of FOUR STARZZZ SHIRAZ, was racing on the fence just before the home bend when he shifted wider on the track. A run appeared for Ms Tomlinson before the Respondent shifted back down on the track. As a consequence she was forced over a marker and then went inside another. He said Mr O’Connell had decided to move wider on the track and had shifted out. Mr O’Connell  had gone to go back in but by this time there was a horse to his inside. He had misjudged his movement back in and he had reacted too late to relieve the pressure on Ms Tomlinson.

Mr O’Connell said the horse had a change of gear. It did not have a boring pole but had a rein pricker.  FOUR STARZZZ SHIRAZ was hanging in, so he elected to go back inside. He was not aware Ms Tomlinson was there until she yelled out. At that point he gave her room.


As Mr O’Connell has admitted the breach, it is found to be proved.

Submissions as to penalty

Mr Renault produced the Respondent’s record which showed that Mr O’Connell has had 30 drives this season. His record is clear under this Rule. Mr Renault submitted a penalty at the starting point in the Penalty Guide was appropriate.

Mr O’Connell had nothing further to add.

Decision as to penalty

Mr O’Connell has shifted in when not clear of an inside runner which was forced over a pylon and inside another. It resulted in a protest which was dismissed.

The Penalty Guide provides a starting point of a $300 fine for a first breach.  In the circumstances of the breach, and notwithstanding its admission, a penalty at the starting point is appropriate.


Mr O’Connell is fined the sum of $300.

Decision Date: 12/10/2023

Publish Date: 18/10/2023