Racing Victoria (RV) Stewards have today conducted an inquiry into the conduct of registered owner Brae Sokolski on Melbourne Cup Day (Tuesday, 2 November 2021).
Mr Sokolski pleaded guilty to a charge under AR 227(a) which reads as follows:
AR 227 Breaches of the Rules
Without limiting any other powers, a PRA or the Stewards may penalise any person who:
(a) commits any breach of the Rules, or engages in conduct or negligence which has led or could have led to a breach of the Rules.
The particulars of the charge were summarised as follows:
- On Tuesday, 2 November, Mr Sokolski attended Flemington Racecourse (the Race Meeting) where at all times he was bound by the Terms and Conditions of entry imposed by the Victoria Racing Club and the Rules of Racing of Racing Victoria.
- At the Race Meeting, Mr Sokolski only had access to the “Green Zone” of Flemington Racecourse.
- Following the running of the Melbourne Cup, Mr Sokolski exited the Green Zone and entered the mounting yard (Yellow Zone).
- Whilst in the mounting yard, Mr Sokolski also failed to wear a face mask which is a requirement for all persons in the Yellow Zone.
- Stewards were also of the view that Mr Sokolski’s conduct could of lead to a breach of the Rules, predominantly AR 228(a).
Stewards heard submissions on penalty from Mr Sokolski and after doing so took into consideration his guilty plea, his candid evidence, his unblemished record over a long period of time and that he expressed remorse.
The Stewards also took into consideration the nature of the offending, the potential ramifications that could flow from a breach of Racing Victoria’s COVID-19 Protocols, and that the penalty must be sufficient enough to deter others from breaching the COVID-19 Protocols.
Taking into account the above considerations, the Stewards determined that Mr Sokolski be issued a fine of $10,000.