Harness – Stewards Inquiry – Golden Mile Trotting Club, Friday, 15 December 2017-Race 2 Nexans Olex Pace (1750m).
RWWA Stewards today conducted an inquiry into the reason for WHITBYS GAMBLE (A. Cortopassi) receiving interference leaving the 400m in the above race.
RWWA General Manager of Racing Integrity, Mr Denis Borovica had directed that a new panel be formed to hear the matter from the outset afresh, with the proceedings from the adjourned inquiry (commenced at Kalgoorlie on the night) set aside.
The new Stewards Panel consisted of Mr Brad Lewis (Chief Steward, Thoroughbred), Mr Richard Mance (Senior Steward, Thoroughbred) and Chris Courtland (Stipendiary Steward, Thoroughbred).
Evidence was taken from Drivers A. Cortopassi (WHITBYS GAMBLE), C. Saligari (BAPTISM OF FIRE), C. Peterson (CAMS RESURGENCE), M. Young (CARA EVELYN) and Stipendiary Steward, Chris Jasprizza who was present at the meeting and observed the incident from the Stewards Tower near the 400m.
After viewing all replays of the race including lateral and head-on vision and hearing all of the statements from each of the drivers it was established that BAPTISM OF FIRE was taken to a three wide position in the back straight and was moving forward as WHITBYS GAMBLE improved from the rail to a position behind CAMS RESURGENCE which was leading the one wide line with CARA EVELYN leading the event. Leaving the 400m, BAPTISM OF FIRE then shifted inwards slightly towards WHITBYS GAMBLE which was not in a true trailing position behind CAMS RESURGENCE and when A. Cortopassi attempted to move WHITBYS GAMBLE inwards to race directly behind CAMS RESURGENCE it failed to respond to his actions and as a result contributed to its off foreleg contacting the sulky wheel of C. Saligari causing WHITBYS GAMBLE to break and lose ground.
After assessing all of the various circumstances involved in this incident, Stewards could not be fully satisfied that a charge of causing interference against Mr Saligari could be justified to the required standard and therefore no action was taken against him apart from reminding him of his obligations to allow sufficient racing room to other horses at all times.