The investigation into the circumstances which led to the third race at Greyville Racecourse on 27 October 2017 being declared null and void has been concluded.
The following has been established:
The Starter raised the flag at the rear of the pens to advise the Assistant Starter, who was starting the race, that all was fine behind the pens.
At that point Jockey Lance Pagel, rider of THREE SHIPS, called for the Starter to wait as his mount was restless. The Assistant Starter waited accordingly and once THREE SHIPS appeared settled, the start was affected. At this stage the Assistant Starter noted that THREE SHIPS had left the stall rider-less, not knowing the reasons for this horse being rider-less, he allowed the race to continue.
The Assistant Starter claimed that whilst he focused on the problem on the outside of the field, he was not aware that stall gate 1 with SONG OF MITU in it, had not opened. As soon as he was aware of this, he activated the recall siren declaring a false start. The balance of the field raced on without incident.
The Assistant Starter acknowledged that he had in all likelihood activated the siren later than he should have. This, coupled with the heavy downpour which had hindered his visibility, had led to the riders not hearing the siren. The Board acting in terms of Rule 18.104.22.168 had no choice but to declare the race null and void.
It has been recommended to the NHRA Management that the Assistant Starter should be sanctioned in terms of the NHRA’s Disciplinary Code and Grievance Procedure.
Taken from the official Stipes Report as published by the NHA – Greyville 8 November 2017