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This is getting farcical from the stable, CS here is an opportunity for you to lead the cheerlead squad and putting out the collection plate for poor TA! 

 

Is it time we incorporated a law in NZ racing that TA jocks are not allowed to suffer suspension within 4 weeks of the Karaka Million?

 

Te Akau Monday Update

David writes:
Gee I love this time of the year when the best horses are racing.
It takes racing – and public interest in our sport – to another level. The only disappointing part of the last week was our stable rider Opie Bosson getting suspended for his ride on The Perfect Pink. He received a six day suspension for using the whip in consecutive strides – four times in total. He was also fined $400.
That Opie was suspended for six days for consecutive use of the whip is beyond me – it wasn’t so much that he was urging her to find her best form, rather he was doing his best to guide a well-backed favourite that was ducking inwards in a tight finish. This, plus keeping his filly running in a straight line.
This is a case where the penalty does not fit the ‘offence’. It is quite simply unjust, and no I am not saying that because he is our stable rider, I believe the system is not being executed in an intelligent and fair fashion and have expressed this concern on a number of occasions previously.
Interestingly enough, the stewards asked for a fine, however the RIB overruled them and gave Opie a six day penalty as well.
Due to the RIB’s six day penalty, Opie was forced to choose which meeting he would miss: either this Saturday’s Group 1 Telegraph day where he was set to again combine with our Group 1 Railway winner Entriviere OR the Karaka Million meeting where he will attempt to extend his unbeaten run of four straight wins in the Karaka 2YO Million – obviously he missed that meeting last year.
Reluctantly, he chose to forgo the Group 1 telegraph meeting and his ride on Entriviere.
The feedback that we have received about this decision can only be described as incensed. We have never received so many comments from such a wide range of people – owners, punters, industry figures, general public – all highly critical of this decision. Many have asked how they can make their views heard, they feel so frustrated.
In other cases of penalties around whip use, a jockey might miss several low-key stakes’ meetings or meetings – in winter for example. However in this case, Opie misses the ride on a $1.60 favourite for an iconic Group 1 race.
Everyone loses, not just Opie – the owners lose, the punters lose, the Club loses, the industry loses – and at a time when something like 18 jockeys are sidelined, we just don’t have the depth or numbers in our riding ranks to continue with this type of penalty. There are no winners and this can be dealt with differently and done better in my opinion.
What has happened can hardly be seen as fair. These inconsistencies are eating away at the credibility of our sport and the judicial system itself too.
Again, everyone loses:
The RIB is made to look over zealous and inconsistent.
The Wellington Racing Club loses New Zealand’s star jockey on one of its best and highest profile race days of the year.
The Wellington public and on course attendees do not experience New Zealand’s most successful Group 1 rider in action.
The owners miss out on having the top rider on their wonderful mare.
The mare herself loses her pilot for a crucial Group 1, that can add huge residual value to her.
The industry and TAB lose too as many punters follow Opie.
What I think should have happened is Opie – or any other jockey in this position – is he should have been given a significant fine. Then there are winners and the industry banks that money.
Opie is one of the kindest riders you will ever see, and in this case only gave the filly a slap on her shoulder with a heavily-padded whip.
I am of the view that the adjudicator in this case let himself as well as the industry down.
I am sure some people will say I am speaking out of self-interest but that is not the case – I believe in penalties, it’s not about ‘favours’, it’s about fairness. Acting in the best interests of the industry.
Now with that said …
It was terrific to see Fellini and Time Flies finish first and third respectively at Ellerslie on Sunday in one of the last lead up races to the Karaka 2YO Million. This exciting race meeting is staged on 22 January and at this stage Te Akau will have definitely four, possibly five, runners out to defend our five year crown.
Obviously it is a hard race to win once, let alone five years in a row, and we know the competition will be tough but the team will be set and ready. On The Bubbles is the current favourite for the Karaka 3YO Classic Million – last year’s winner will be trying to do what only one horse has ever done before – win both the Karaka 2YO and 3YO Million – the other of course being our wonderful mare Probabeel.
Speaking of On The Bubbles and Probabeel, have a look at the trial fields for Wednesday at Matamata – they would have to be the best fields assembled you have seen for a while.
Tomorrow the Magic Millions Gold Coast sale kicks off and we have Mark Walker ‘on the ground’ for us – Mark has inspected our ‘long list’ a number of times and it is now our shortlist, so keep an eye on our website with updates on the horses we buy – shares will undoubtedly sell quickly.
One of the last year’s purchases Bright Blue Sky has made the field of 16 for the A$2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic on Saturday so we eagerly await her all-important barrier draw tomorrow. She won a stakes’ race on debut at Te Rapa and had her second start at Doomben on Boxing Day where she had little luck but rallied well to finish fourth in a Group 3 race. Group 1 winning jockey Brett Prebble has been engaged to ride her.
Good luck to our owners with runners this week …
GO THE TANGERINE!
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These are the rules , whether you agree with them or not , ride within them or suffer the consequences . It's all well for DE to say hit OPB with a bigger fine but will that really solve the issue . For me it is a simple solve , if your jockey breaks the whip rules your horse is automatically disqualified , 1st or 10th . Harsh , for sure , but after a couple of disqualifications and people understand that breaking the whip rule is going to be strictly adhered to jocks will start to fall into line . And trainers and owners will soon stop using jocks that aren't following the protocols .

 It again highlights the big issue of the depth of our jockey ranks , OPB suspended , D Johnson and a couple of others better jocks missing and we are looking very average for a G1 day . 

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The poor souls have only managed to go and engage the country equal leading rider for the Telegraph! 

Does this beg the question do we need safe spaces at the races?

I love how its everyone else that is missing out ... 

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7 minutes ago, nomates said:

 

 It again highlights the big issue of the depth of our jockey ranks , OPB suspended , D Johnson and a couple of others better jocks missing and we are looking very average for a G1 day . 

Hardly an issue for a stable like this, hence why they've managed to get who they have as a replacement on the horse.

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19 minutes ago, Huey said:

Hardly an issue for a stable like this, hence why they've managed to get who they have as a replacement on the horse.

Well for me it would make me very nervous , 1.6 Fav with a guy who has never been on her back in a G1 . I hate backing a horse that has McNab on for the first time , 1 of my little rules when i bet , if McNab , Grylls , Elliott and a couple of others are riding a horse for the first time , don't back them . And i can honestly say it very rarely fails , so i will be sticking with it . 

If we were in Sydney , no issue , any one of a dozen could replace and you would remain confident .

 

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25 minutes ago, Huey said:

Hardly an issue for a stable like this, hence why they've managed to get who they have as a replacement on the horse.

I think they are pulling their hair out to be honest , no OPB or Johnson , their go to riders , not just in big races but even the lower grades .

Once D Johnson goes to HK it will be interesting to see what they do , if OP is out or in Aus they are left thin , even with him riding they need a good second string . 

If they could prize Parksy out of Wanganui i think they would definitely go for it , but he's not that keen on moving .

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1 hour ago, Huey said:

This is getting farcical from the stable, CS here is an opportunity for you to lead the cheerlead squad and putting out the collection plate for poor TA!

Regardless of whether it is Te Akau complaining or any other stable I have been consistent in my criticism of the rules.  THEY are farcical.  

Not only are they unworkable as evident by the weekly list of offenders of all levels they are applied inconsistently.  Then the penalties are all over the place again given without any consistency. 

What are the whip rules trying to achieve apart from being a sop to the woke animal welfare brigade?  Apparently a whip hurts more if you are a senior rider in a Grp race at Ellerslie than an apprentice in a Maiden at Omoto.

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35 minutes ago, nomates said:

I think they are pulling their hair out to be honest , no OPB or Johnson , their go to riders , not just in big races but even the lower grades .

Once D Johnson goes to HK it will be interesting to see what they do , if OP is out or in Aus they are left thin , even with him riding they need a good second string . 

If they could prize Parksy out of Wanganui i think they would definitely go for it , but he's not that keen on moving .

Hardly pulling their hair out, they get whoever they want most of the time. There is a reverberating effect when this happens, its those lower down the food chain that usually feel the effects of it.

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Just now, Chief Stipe said:

Regardless of whether it is Te Akau complaining or any other stable I have been consistent in my criticism of the rules.  THEY are farcical.  

Not only are they unworkable as evident by the weekly list of offenders of all levels they are applied inconsistently.  Then the penalties are all over the place again given without any consistency. 

Hardly about the rules, the rules are the rules for everyone but when it happens to TA they bring the violin out , they did it last year from memory when they couldn't get Opie as well its not a good look from them imho.

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1 hour ago, Huey said:

 

 
Reluctantly, he chose to forgo the Group 1 telegraph meeting and his ride on Entriviere.
The feedback that we have received about this decision can only be described as incensed. We have never received so many comments from such a wide range of people – owners, punters, industry figures, general public – all highly critical of this decision. Many have asked how they can make their views heard, they feel so frustrated.
 

I read this to mean people are incensed that he chose to forgo his ride in a group 1 race in order to ride in a couple of non group race sweepstake races. Is that what it is supposed to mean or am I misinterpreting it?

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2 minutes ago, Doomed said:

I read this to mean people are incensed that he chose to forgo his ride in a group 1 race in order to ride in a couple of non group race sweepstake races. Is that what it is supposed to mean or am I misinterpreting it?

That may well be part of  the case , however it also a moan about him not being able to ride at both meetings . It's only important when it has an impact on the big guys.

Like I said pretty sure there was something like this last year from them.

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Here is the decision.  Why all the bullshit with comparing against precedents?  If the rule is black and white (arguably it isn't) then why not create a list of penalties based on number of offences and do away with all the palaver over mitigating circumstances.  I do have some sentiment for Jockey's that know how to get the best out of their charges Bosson and CWJ are in this category yet both are being pinged constantly.

 

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Class A Jockey Opie Bosson is suspended for 6 National Riding Days and fined $400

EVIDENCE:

Following the running of Race 5, the Respondent Class A Rider Mr Bosson admitted a charge alleging the use of whip in consecutive strides over the concluding stages of the race.

Rule 638(3)(g)(ii) provides that in a Flat Race a Rider must not:

(ii) strike a horse with a whip in consecutive strides at any stage of the race.

Using the available race films Stipendiary Steward Mrs L Selvakumaran demonstrated that Mr Bosson struck his mount (THE PERFECT PINK) twice in consecutive strides over the concluding stages of the race.

THE PEFECT PINK finished second, beaten a nose by the race winner LA CRIQUE.

Mrs L Selvakumaran added that Mr Bosson used his whip four times in the run up the straight, with two of those strikes having occurred very close to the finish.     

In response, Mr Bosson agreed with the strike count.

REASON FOR DECISION:

As Mr Bosson admitted the breach, it was deemed proved.

SUBMISSION FOR PENALTY:

Mr Williamson submitted that Mr Bosson has had 3 previous breaches of the Whip Rule 638(2)(g) over the past 6 months, namely:

2 November 2021, Te Rapa (under subclause (i)) – fined $250

13 November 2021, Riccarton, (under subclause (i)) in a Group 1 Race – fined $4500

16 November 2021, Rotorua, (under subclause (ii)) – suspended 5 days

Mr Williamson submitted that with regards to the Whip Rule relating to consecutive strikes / strides (sub-clause (ii)), the Penalty Guide is ambiguous.  Mr Williamson read out the provisions in the Guide regarding this clause and noted that it does not allude to an appropriate penalty for a fourth breach of the Whip Rule. He added that a prior offence in any category is included in consideration of penalties; and that within the 6-month reset period each consecutive penalty is to be raised by 1 or 2 days.

Mr Williamson submitted that Mr Bosson struck his mount four times down the shoulder with two being consecutive.  He said no force was applied to each strike.

Mr Williamson said the 5-day suspension imposed on Mr Bosson by the Adjudicative Committee at Rotorua was an error and should have been a fine.

In conclusion, Mr Williamson submitted that a fine greater than $500 be imposed.  He added that Mr Bosson’s share of the stake for finishing second was $830, with 50% being $415.

In response Mr Bosson submitted that, if possible, he would prefer a fine.  He said that over the next two weeks he is committed to riding the favourite in the Group 1 Race at Wellington (on 15 January 2022) and also the two favourites in the Karaka Million-Dollar Races (on 22 January 2022).

REASON FOR PENALTY:

This is Mr Bosson’s fourth Whip Rule breach fourth breach in 9 weeks.  The reset period is 6 months.

The NZTR Revised Penalty Guide for improper whip use (effective as of 1 September 2021) provides that:

  1. Excessive or improper whip use during racing is unacceptable (particularly where repeated) and must be denounced and discouraged by way of a penalty.
  2. A prior offence in any category of breach is included in consideration of penalties.
  3. Additional National Days and/or an increased percentage of the jockey share of stake to be added where whip infringement is in a black type race, a prestige jumping race or other major race.
  4. Where charges are upheld within the 6-month reset period, each consecutive penalty in the 6 months is to be raised by 1 or 2 days.

Mr Williamson submitted that a fine, for this fourth whip breach, would be an appropriate penalty and he suggested that Mr Bosson’s previous suspension for a breach (of the same Rule) at Rotorua on 16 November 2021 was an error and should have resulted in a fine.

The Adjudicative Committee disagrees with Mr Williamson’s interpretation of the Penalty Guide, and further the breach at Rotorua was not a mistake or error and it is consistent with other like penalties.

Since the revised NZTR Penalty Guidelines came into force on 1 September 2021 there have a been a number of precedent cases that support the notion that breaches in any category of the whip sub-clauses (i) and (ii) are grouped together for the purpose of fixing penalty.

Precedents cases

A sampling of precedent cases include:

28/10/21 B Grylls, Te Aroha, suspended 5 days

03/11/21 L Satherley, Cambridge, suspended 5 days + fine $150

16/11/21, O Bosson, Rotorua, suspended 5 days

27/11/21, V Colgan, Te Aroha, suspended 5 days

11/12/21 T Thornton, Te Rapa, suspended 7 days

11/12/21 L Satherley, Te Rapa, suspended 7 days (and 9 days on 18/12/21)

In B Grylls the Applicant Chief Stipendiary Steward Mr Oatham submitted that the Penalty Guidelines provide for a penalty of a 5-day suspension for a 3rd breach.  The Adjudicator, Mr McKenzie commented that “The NZTR Revised Penalty Guidelines provide for a starting point for penalty for a 3rd breach of a 5-day suspension. This breach is regarded as a 3rd offence, the Guidelines providing that a prior offence in any category is to be included in consideration of penalties. That starting point is an appropriate penalty for this breach”.

In L Satherley (03/11/21) the Adjudicator, Hon J W Gendall QC stated: (with regards to the Penalty Guide stated “It speaks of a starting point for a fourth offence of breach of “the Whip Rule” and although some might say this only refers to excessive number of strikes, this approach would not be what is intended under Rule 638.  Any breach of the Whip Rule 638(3)(g) – whether under sub clause (i) or (ii) – is to be taken into account when recommended starting points are considered”.

Quite simply the various precedent cases do not support Mr Williamson’s submission in terms of fine versus suspension for a fourth breach, particularly where previous breaches under subclauses (i) and (ii) are grouped. The way in which the NZTR Penalty Guide is framed and the manner in which it has been interpreted since promulgated and introduced on 1 September 2021 is that prior offences separately under subclause (i) [excessive strikes before the 100m mark] and subclause (ii) [use of the whip in consecutive strides] are grouped for the purpose of setting penalty.

It is accepted that Mr Bosson struck his mount no more than for times in the home straight, but two of the strikes were consecutive and therefore in breach of the Rule.  They were not forceful, but nevertheless they constitute strikes for the purpose of the Rule.

The Adjudicative Committee is mindful that any proposed suspension will result in Mr Bosson having to forgo his mount in the Group 1 Race at Wellington; and potentially his rides at the Karaka Millions meeting.  In consideration of this, the Adjudicative Committee has come to the conclusion that any proposed penalty should not include both meetings.  There are effectively six meetings scheduled between now and the Karaka Millions on 22 January 2022, therefore a suspension that falls within that six-meeting timeframe is fitting under the circumstances.

Finally, in consideration of Mr Bosson’s submission that he receives a fine, the Adjudicative Committee is of the view that a fine for a fourth whip breach would not be appropriate and would run counter to the intent of the NZTR Guidelines. It would also be inconsistent with the precedent cases, and there are no compelling grounds to make an exception for Mr Bosson.

After considering the above Guidelines, the film evidence; the submissions and having due regard for the number of consecutive strikes (2), as well as the Respondent’s share of the stake ($830), the Adjudicative Committee determined  a 6 days suspension to be appropriate. In addition, a fine of $400 is imposed which is about 50% of Mr Bosson’s share of the stake.

CONCLUSIONS:

Accordingly, Mr Bosson is suspended from riding after the conclusion of racing on 9 January 2022 until after racing on 20 January 2022.  In addition, he is fined $400.

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7 minutes ago, Huey said:

Hardly about the rules, the rules are the rules for everyone but when it happens to TA they bring the violin out , they did it last year from memory when they couldn't get Opie as well its not a good look from them imho.

So?  Racing would be better off if more Trainers did stand up and complain.  Good on Ellis going into bat for his shareholders.  It would be remiss of him if he didn't.  About time more Trainers pushed back.  

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5 minutes ago, Huey said:

That may well be part of  the case , however it also a moan about him not being able to ride at both meetings . It's only important when it has an impact on the big guys.

Like I said pretty sure there was something like this last year from them.

It is an indictment of a bigger problem in NZ Racing.  The total lack of competent senior riders.  Remember when penalties were adjusted to lean towards fines rather than suspensions because of there wasn't sufficient Jockey's available? 

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Interestingly, I watched the race in question and did mean to check the stipes report afterwards. I thought watching the race, from my very amateurship perspective, that when he took the lead he thought he had the race in safekeeping and tried to give his horse as easy a run as possible, then he got a surprise when the other horse fought back and he had to try and get his mount going again.

I was half expecting him to be in trouble for not giving his month every chance to win the race. So it is somewhat ironic that he eventually got in trouble for trying too hard over the last few strides.

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1 hour ago, Chief Stipe said:

It is an indictment of a bigger problem in NZ Racing.  The total lack of competent senior riders.  Remember when penalties were adjusted to lean towards fines rather than suspensions because of there wasn't sufficient Jockey's available? 

Yes that goes without saying, but in this case they don't care about the rules(or lack of riders in this instance) really they just care the rules were applied to them.

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Best to sort the rules. Those that are there have to be enforced of course, not have the penalties circumnavigated by power and persuasion let alone giving the penalised options as to when they take the penalty. IMO, no whips at all or not to be used with hands off reins. Use some leadership here.

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1 hour ago, Huey said:

Yes that goes without saying, but in this case they don't care about the rules(or lack of riders in this instance) really they just care the rules were applied to them.

So?  Ellis is entitled to speak his opinion.  In fact he is obliged to on behalf of the shareholders he represents. Shame a few more don't.

A week ago a horse with connections who post on BOAY had  CWJ on board.  Their horse was beaten a lip by a rider who got pinged for the same reason Bosson did -$750 fine and no suspension. 

CWJ got pinged as well.  In fact he got fined $500 (no suspension).  Even the owner watching his horse didn't see the offending so I doubt any member of the public worried about horse welfare would have seen on the off chance they were even watching.  The offending can only have been seen on replayed Stewards vision probably from the bunker back at Parnell.

The reasons for the penalties in all of the 3 cases are inconsistent as are the penalties.

Ellis has a point.  

But let's all bitch about him batting hard for Te Akau and ignore the many many instances of how daft the rules and their application are.

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1 hour ago, curious said:

Best to sort the rules. Those that are there have to be enforced of course, not have the penalties circumnavigated by power and persuasion let alone giving the penalised options as to when they take the penalty. IMO, no whips at all or not to be used with hands off reins. Use some leadership here.

Would CWJ back the no whip option?

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5 hours ago, Chief Stipe said:

So?  Ellis is entitled to speak his opinion.  In fact he is obliged to on behalf of the shareholders he represents. Shame a few more don't.

A week ago a horse with connections who post on BOAY had  CWJ on board.  Their horse was beaten a lip by a rider who got pinged for the same reason Bosson did -$750 fine and no suspension. 

CWJ got pinged as well.  In fact he got fined $500 (no suspension).  Even the owner watching his horse didn't see the offending so I doubt any member of the public worried about horse welfare would have seen on the off chance they were even watching.  The offending can only have been seen on replayed Stewards vision probably from the bunker back at Parnell.

The reasons for the penalties in all of the 3 cases are inconsistent as are the penalties.

Ellis has a point.  

But let's all bitch about him batting hard for Te Akau and ignore the many many instances of how daft the rules and their application are.

So if he cared that much why didn't he mention it before it happened to his go to rider?

You know the answer to that , as for others not mentioning it you also know the answer to that.

TA feel very vulnerable when everything isn't going their way.

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6 hours ago, Chief Stipe said:

Ellis has a point.  

But let's all bitch about him batting hard for Te Akau and ignore the many many instances of how daft the rules and their application are.

The real problem is that it's mainly academics who're enforcing the rules.

IMO the JCA personnel is manifestly wrong and the personnel appointing the JCA is also wrong, the two person judicial panel should be appointed by racing clubs and include practical people such as an ex jockey/trainer and an ex racing journalist. No lawyers, no social climbers, no big noter's. Any serious non race-day inquiries decided by an independent one person panel.

6 hours ago, Chief Stipe said:

Would CWJ back the no whip option?

It's a travesty that C. Johnson has convictions for excessive whip use, there wouldn't be a kinder rider who's graced the pigskin than Johnson and in theory he only backhands them anyway which is but half as forceful as the usual forehand whip action.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Huey said:

So if he cared that much why didn't he mention it before it happened to his go to rider?

You know the answer to that , as for others not mentioning it you also know the answer to that.

TA feel very vulnerable when everything isn't going their way.

Do you really expect Ellis to comment about other trainers issues?  Then he'd get hammered for not minding his own business.

Maybe affected trainers should all put their self-interest to one side for a moment and collectively work together to get some change.

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