Workrider Banned

Has the right of appeal against the penalty imposed.

The National Horseracing Authority confirms that at an inquiry which was held at its offices in Johannesburg on Friday 8 March 2019, Mr Francis Semela was charged with a contravention of Rule 72.1.34.

This arose in that whilst riding KINDAVAR, in Race 2 run at the Vaal Racecourse on 28 February 2019, his actions prevented this filly from winning or being placed in this race and did not allow her to run to the best of her ability or on merit.

Francis Semela

Francis Semela

Mr Semela pleaded guilty to the charge and was found guilty of the charge.

When assessing a suitable penalty, the Inquiry Board viewed Mr Semela’s ride in a very serious light and could not condone a ride of such a nature.

At no point in the race did Mr Semela position KINDAVAR in a position to win or be placed.  During the race, Mr Semela sought cover and to position KINDAVAR behind other horses from the start.  He clipped the heels of another runner at the 500m when seeking cover and then, again, at the 200m he ran in behind horses, all the while when there was clear running available on his inside.

KINDAVAR was only provided with clear running at the 180m and even then the determination and vigour of Mr Semela’s ride was questionable.  Mr Semela also admitted to clearly ignoring the instructions given to him by the connections of the horse which were to allow the filly to stride out naturally and not be restrained.

Mr Semela elected not to divulge any reasons explaining his ride, other than his poor judgment in this particular ride.

Furthermore, when looking at Mr Semela’s record, it was noted that he was found guilty of a similar offence in 2017, in that he failed to ensure that the horse was given a full opportunity to win or obtain the best possible placing.

Taking all the above into consideration, the Inquiry Board felt that the strongest possible sanction was required and imposed the penalty that Mr Semela’s workrider privilege be disqualified.

Mr Semela has the right of appeal against the penalty imposed.

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