Amateur driver given lengthy ban
Canterbury amateur driver Ray Reekie copped a lengthy two and a-half year suspension for overly aggressive tactics behind Zakspatrol, a horse he owns, in the opening race for amateur harness drivers at Addington on Saturday.
Scott Wallis, chairman of stipendiary stewards for the meeting, confirmed the suspension until March 15, 2020, for driving in a manner which diminished his chances of winning the race.
Reekie, who drew the outside of the front-line with Zakspatrol, continually tried to wrest the lead from Russian Express from the 2000m until inside the final 1200m.
Zakspatrol was on the drift over the final 800m, dropping out to finish last and 35.3 lengths from the winner.
Wallis explained the reasoning for the unusual length of suspension was based on there being an average of two amateur race drives per month in Canterbury.
‘‘He was suspended for 60 drives. His suspension was initially upgraded by another six months for being at the higher end of the offence, then reduced by six months when taking into account Mr Reekie’s good record,’’ Wallis said.
Meanwhile jockey Masa Tanaka will miss seven riding days after he was suspended at Awapuni.
Tanaka pleaded guilty to a charge of careless riding aboard The Rippa in race five and the Judicial Control Authority suspended him up to and including racing on Saturday, October 5.
The Rippa angled outwards on entering the straight when not clear of the winner Rayas which was forced outwards, abruptly checking Class Above and Sussed.
At the same meeting Tony Allan was fined $500 for excessive whip use aboard Our Bandit and Johnathan Parkes faced the same charge at Ruakaka on Hiflyer and was fined $300.
Also at Ruakaka Leith Innes was fined $100 for not being able to make the contracted weight on Miss Gee Bee in race two.