Am­a­teur driver given lengthy ban

The Press - - Sport-Racing - TIM RYAN, NZ HAR­NESS NEWS

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.

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