The Stewards today concluded their inquiry into A Sanna’s riding of DANCES WITH DRAGON in the Victoria Park Handicap which was run at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday, 17 November 2019. Further evidence was today taken from Jockey Sanna. Evidence was also taken from Mr L Ho, the trainer of DANCES WITH DRAGON, Mr M W Leung, assistant trainer allocated to Mr Ho’s stable for the current 2019/2020 season, Mr Y C Wong, part-owner of DANCES WITH DRAGON and Mr P C Chan, an associate of Mr Wong who was present in the Parade Ring with Mr Wong when the instructions were given by Mr Leung to Jockey Sanna. Mr Ho was not on course at the relevant time as he was travelling overseas on business.
A Sanna was charged with having breached Hong Kong Rule of Racing 99 (2) and (6) in that as the rider of DANCES WITH DRAGON in the stated race, he failed to take all reasonable and permissible measures throughout the race to ensure DANCES WITH DRAGON was given a full opportunity to win or to obtain the best possible placing in the field.
The particulars of the charge being:-
1. That having regard to his riding instructions to shift DANCES WITH DRAGON to the outside of runners in the Home Straight he failed to shift his horse out to the required extent rounding the Home Turn and in the early part of the Home Straight to follow TIANCHI MONSTER which resulted in DANCES WITH DRAGON racing towards the inside until after the 400 Metres when it was both reasonable and permissible for him to have shifted DANCES WITH DRAGON out earlier than he did.
2. That after shifting DANCES WITH DRAGON to the outside of the running line of TIANCHI MONSTER approaching the 200 Metres, he did reduce his riding vigour between the 200 Metres until after the 100 Metres when it was both reasonable and permissible for DANCES WITH DRAGON to be fully tested during that part of the race given that there was clear and uninterrupted running for DANCES WITH DRAGON; and passing the 200 Metres he did briefly turn DANCES WITH DRAGON’s head inwards despite there being clear and uninterrupted running directly in front of DANCES WITH DRAGON.
3. That over about the final 100 Metres of the race he did, in the circumstances, fail to ride DANCES WITH DRAGON with sufficient purpose and vigour when it was both reasonable and permissible for DANCES WITH DRAGON to be fully tested all the way to the end of the race.
4. That by riding DANCES WITH DRAGON as he did rounding the Home Turn and in the Home Straight he did fail to take all reasonable and permissible measures to ensure that DANCES WITH DRAGON was given a full opportunity to win or to obtain the best possible placing in the field.
Jockey Sanna pleaded guilty to the charge. After having considered the matter, the Stewards determined that the appropriate penalty was for Jockey Sanna’s licence to ride in races to be suspended for a period to commence on Wednesday, 11 December 2019 and to expire on Monday, 20 January 2020. During that period, there are twelve (12) racemeetings scheduled to be conducted in Hong Kong.
The evidence tendered by Mr Ho, Mr Leung, Mr Wong and Mr Chan was accepted.