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Avoca Wrong Distance Inquiry

Racing Victoria (RV) has today announced that it will pay out the advertised prizemoney to the connections of horses engaged in Race 2 at Avoca last Saturday, 20 March 2021 which was ruled a ‘no race’ by Stewards prior to the declaration of correct weight.

The payment of prizemoney will be in accordance with the advertised split of the $23,000 pool for the race and in line with the finishing position of horses. It is being made based on the circumstances that led to a ‘no race’ being declared.

The decision comes following the conclusion of RV’s inquiry into why the Unearth the Pyrenees Region Maiden Plate was run over 1200 metres instead of the programmed 1100 metres. 

The inquiry ultimately found that the barriers were placed in the wrong location by Club staff referencing the inside of the racebook which incorrectly listed the race as being over 1200 metres.

The Starter, whose responsibility it is to confirm the race distance, relied upon the Club staff assurance that the barriers were in the correct place. The Chairman of Stewards then relied upon the Starter’s assurance. 

The Starter, Assistant Starter and Chairman of Stewards have all accepted their part in the error and the process for disciplinary action has been completed. All involved have also been counselled about their obligations to exercise due diligence in such situations.

It was further noted that Avoca does not have signage to denote the 1100 and 1200 metre starts and that this may have prevented the possibility of an earlier detection of the error. 

As a result of the incident, the Club has agreed to install distance markers at all starts prior to its next race meeting. 

The existing raceday procedures will also be enhanced to add an additional cross check into the responsibilities of the Starters to ensure the accurate placement of the barriers and the relay of that information to the Chairman of Stewards.