The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) will be putting a number of potential breaches of the Rules of Racing and objections to the results of races before the independent Disciplinary Panel tomorrow, Thursday 23 July.
This is in relation to 26 races between 14 August 2019 and 26 February 2020 in which apprentice rider George Rooke rode. More information in relation to the hearing is available via the pre-hearing notice here. [LINK]
Due to the complex logistics of the case, the impact on the BHA’s capacity following the COVID-19 pandemic and the suspension of racing, as well as operational changes to the Judicial Panel, it has not been possible to hear this case before now.
The races in question and BHA’s reasoning for the objections are as follows:
Claim ridden out
In the following seven races objections have been lodged due to Rooke actually having ridden out his 7lb claim as of 20 February:
|24/02/2020 Southwell 15:40||ZAPPER CASS (FR)||3 of 5||claimed 7lbs instead of 5lbs|
|24/02/2020 Southwell 16:10||GOING NATIVE||1 of 9||claimed 7lbs instead of 5lbs|
|24/02/2020 Southwell 16:45||CAPE GRECO (USA)||2 of 8||claimed 7lbs instead of 5lbs|
|26/02/2020 Southwell 14:35||MUKHA MAGIC||1 of 6||claimed 7lbs instead of 5lbs|
|26/02/2020 Southwell 15:35||ROBERO||6 of 7||claimed 7lbs instead of 5lbs|
|26/02/2020 Southwell 16:05||QUEEN OF ALL||1 of 4||claimed 7lbs instead of 5lbs|
|26/02/2020 Kempton 20:00||HEIRONYMUS||1 of 11||claimed 7lbs instead of 5lbs|
In the following eleven races objections were lodged due to the incorrect amount of weight being claimed, or weight being claimed when it was not correct to do so, due to the specific race conditions of each race.
|14/08/2019 Salisbury 16:50||ARCTIC FLOWER (IRE)||3 of 10||Claimed incorrectly|
|05/09/2019 Salisbury 14:10||THE LORDS WALK||3 of 12||Claimed incorrectly|
|10/09/2019 Leicester 17:25||TAKIAH||6 of 12||Claimed incorrectly|
|18/09/2019 Beverley 17:10||CLIPSHAM TIGER (IRE)||2 of 10||Claimed incorrectly|
|19/09/2019 Pontefract 17:10||BEDTIME BELLA||3 of 8||Claimed incorrectly|
|23/09/2019 Leicester 17:05||MISS ICON||4 of 13||Claimed incorrectly|
|30/09/2019 Bath 17:10||SPANISH STAR (IRE)||1 of 8||Claimed incorrectly|
|08/10/2019 Brighton 16:45||PERIQUE||9 of 11||Claimed incorrectly|
|25/10/2019 Newbury 17:05||MONTYS ANGEL (IRE)||3 of 7||Claimed incorrectly|
|31/10/2019 Lingfield 16:05||VINCENZO COCCOTTI (USA)||5 of 14||Claimed incorrectly|
|28/11/2019 Lingfield 15:30||VINCENZO COCCOTTI (USA)||7 of 12||Claimed incorrectly|
Ineligible to ride
In the following eight races, due to the specific conditions of the race which stated that only riders who had ridden a certain number of winners by a certain date could take part, Rooke was ineligible to ride. Races marked RE refer to the Racing Excellence Apprentice Series:
|18/11/2019 Southwell 19:45 (RE)||BAILE GHILIBERT (IRE)||9 of 11||Ineligible, too many winners ridden|
|11/12/2019 Lingfield 15:10 (RE)||HUDDLE||10 of 10||Ineligible, too many winners ridden|
|07/01/2020 Southwell 19:15 (RE)||TILSWORTH ROSE||2 of 9||Ineligible, too many winners ridden|
|09/01/2020 Chelmsford 16:00 (RE)||COVIGLIA (IRE)||7 of 7||Ineligible, too many winners ridden|
|10/01/2020 Lingfield 15:55||DEEDS NOT WORDS (IRE)||6 of 8||Ineligible, too many winners ridden|
|18/01/2020 Chelmsford 16:45 (RE)||DEEDS NOT WORDS (IRE)||1 of 9||Ineligible, too many winners ridden|
|03/02/2020 Wolverhampton 17:00 (RE)||BILLYOAKES (IRE)||3 of 9||Ineligible, too many winners ridden|
|03/02/2020 Wolverhampton 17:30 (RE)||COME ON BEAR (IRE)||1 of 10||Ineligible, too many winners ridden|
Under the Rules of Racing, an apprentice jockey is allowed to claim the following weight according to the number of winners ridden:
7lb until they have won 20 Races;
5lb until they have won 50 Races; and
3lb until they have won 95 Races.
Having ridden his first winner under Rules on 13 July 2018, as of 11 January 2019 Rooke had ridden three winners. On 5 July 2019 he rode one winner in Jersey and on 11 August 2019 he rode another two winners in Jersey, taking his tally to six winners.
Under the Rules of Racing it is the responsibility of the jockey to claim the correct weight allowance in any race.
Separately, any jockey entitled to claim a jockey’s allowance must inform The Racing Calendar Office of any race wins outside Great Britain within 48 hours of their return to Great Britain.
The winners in Jersey were not reported.
As such, from 11 August onwards, Rooke had technically ridden three more winners than was officially recorded. This meant in the view of the BHA he was later to become ineligible to ride in a number of apprentice races as described above after he had reached the prescribed thresholds, but also that in a number of races he claimed the incorrect weight.
Including the Jersey winners Rooke technically rode out his 7lb claim on 17 February 2020. Under the Rules, once a rider has ridden out their claim there are three clear days before the new claim takes effect.
As such, Rooke should have been claiming 5 lb from 21 February.
The BHA was alerted to this situation at Newcastle’s fixture on 27 February 2020, whereby a statement was put out via the BHA stewards twitter account that George Rooke would be claiming 5lb rather than 7lb in his two rides at that fixture.
The system was updated on Friday 28 February 2020 so that Rooke would be shown as claiming 5lb in all subsequent rides. Due to his ineligibility for the Racing Excellence series, a jockey change took place for his intended mount in the series final at Lingfield Park on 29 February 2020.
In all rides from since 21 February, Rooke has claimed 5lb as his standard claim and will continue to do so until such time as he has ridden 50 winners, subject to the specific conditions of each race.
13 July 2018: Rides first winner under rules
5 July 2019: Having already ridden three winners in Great Britain rides one winner in Jersey which is not reported to BHA
11 August 2019: Rides two further winners in Jersey which are not reported to BHA
The tally now should have stood at six winners, but as the three winners in Jersey were not declared, Rooke is registered as only having ridden three winners
14 August 2019: Rides in first of 11 races where the incorrect weight is claimed or weight is claimed when it should not be due to specific race conditions
7 November 2019: Rides eighth officially registered winner which should have been registered as 11th winner, making Rooke ineligible for races with a maximum of 10 winners or more
18 November 2019: Rides in first of seven races in Racing Excellence series which state that only riders who have ridden no more than 10 winners by 10 November 2019 can take part
10 January 2020: Rides in a race for which he is ineligible due to the specific race conditions stating that only riders who have ridden no more than 10 winners by 7 January 2020 can take part
17 February 2020: Including three Jersey winners, rides 20th winner which should have meant that 7lbs claim was ridden out as of 20 February
24-26 February 2020: Rides in seven races incorrectly claiming 7lb instead of 5lb
27 February 2020: BHA becomes aware of three Jersey winners. Claim for rides at Newcastle and subsequent rides changed to 5lb.
The relevant Rules in question are as follows. For races prior to 1 September 2019:
Requirement for a jockey to claim the correct weight – Rule (F)143.3.
Requirement for a jockey entitled to claim a jockey’s allowance to inform The Racing Calendar Office of any race wins outside Great Britain within 48 hours of their return to Great Britain – Rule (F)143.4.
Grounds for disqualification – Rule (A)74.2 Ground 5.
For races after 1 September 2019:
Requirement for a jockey to claim the correct weight – paragraph 51 of the Weights and Handicapping Code.
Requirement for a jockey entitled to claim a jockey’s allowance to inform The Racing Calendar Office of any race wins outside Great Britain within 48 hours of their return to Great Britain – paragraph 56 of the Weights and Handicapping Code.
Objections – Rules (H)12, (H)18 & (H)19
Grounds for disqualification – Rules (L)47.2, (L)47.8.