Results of enquiries (Marco Botti and Sedgefield Racecourse) heard by the Disciplinary Panel on Thursday 20 November

20 Nov 2014 Disciplinary Panel - Other decisions Disciplinary Panel - Referrals from Racecourse

Marco Botti

The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on 20 November 2014 held an enquiry to consider an objection to LINTON (AUS), trained by Marco Botti, placed third in the Totescoop6 EBF Guisborough Stakes at Redcar on 4 October 2014 on the grounds that the gelding, having been conceived in the Southern Hemisphere, was not EBF (European Breeders Fund) eligible and was not therefore qualified by the conditions of the race to be entered or run.

The Panel noted that LINTON (AUS) was conceived as a result of a covering by GALILEO (IRE) in the Southern Hemisphere and that the EBF stallion registration for GALILEO (IRE) was only applicable to his Northern Hemisphere covered progeny.

The Panel also noted that due to the Racing Administration Site incorrectly showing the gelding as being EBF qualified, BHA was satisfied that no disciplinary action should be taken against Botti.

Under Rule (A)74.2 the Panel disqualified LINTON (AUS) from the race placing PATENTAR (FR) third, DREAM WALKER fourth and PENITENT fifth.

Sedgefield Racecourse

The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on 20 November 2014 held an enquiry to consider whether or not Arena Racecourse Company, the Managing Executive of Sedgefield Racecourse, had committed a breach of Rule (F)15.3.4 of the Rules of Racing in that, by removing three of the five hurdle panels from the 9th flight of hurdles prior to the runners jumping the obstacle on the final circuit during the running of the 7th race on 13 October 2014, the Executive failed to carry out its responsibility to ensure that the course is maintained in good condition.

The Panel noted that the safety of the horses and riders had been compromised by the incorrect removal of the hurdle panels because, in the absence of any clear instruction, all the runners had run through the resultant gap in the flight.

Owing to the tight timescales that the ground staff were working with and the evidence given at the Stewards’ Enquiry, the Panel were unable to satisfy themselves that all the hurdle leg holes had been properly back filled before the horses came around and ran through the gap created by the removal of the panels on the final circuit.

Having considered the evidence, including verbal submissions from Sophie Barton, Clerk of the Course and Charlie Moore, a Senior Clerk of the Course and former Clerk at Sedgefield, the Panel found that the Executive was in breach of Rule (F)15.3.4.

The Panel noted that an internal review had been undertaken by the Executive following the incident.

Taking into account the steps that the Executive had subsequently implemented to avoid any repetition, the Panel fined the Executive £2,000.

Notes to Editors

1. The Panel for the hearings was: Lucinda Cavendish (Chair), Edward Dorrell and Jeremy Barlow

2. Regarding the Marco Botti case, it was BHA’s position that due to the Racing Administration Site incorrectly advising the trainer that the horse was EBF qualified no disciplinary action should be taken against Botti, who had fulfilled his obligation under the Rules by utilising a device on the Administration Site designed for checking a horse’s qualification to run in EBF races.

The issue arose because the horse was the progeny of a European domiciled parent – which under normal circumstances would have made the horse qualified for the race – but happens to have been conceived in Australia, which renders the horse unqualified for EBF races.