Michael Formosa cops a 6 month suspension

05:41 AM 16 Oct 2012 NZDT
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Michael Formosa
Michael Formosa

Harness Racing New South Wales Stewards yesterday (15 October 2012) concluded an inquiry into the driving tactics adopted by Mr Michael Formosa on Victory in Race 3 at the Newcastle Harness meeting on Thursday 11 October 2012.

Further evidence was taken Mr. Michael Formosa.

Mr. Michael Formosa was found guilty to a charge under Rule 149(1) of the Australian Harness Racing Rules which reads:

A driver shall take all reasonable and permissible measures during the course of the race to ensure that the horse driven by that driver is given full opportunity to win or obtain the best possible placing in the field.

Mr Formosa was charged with failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures to ensure that Victory was given full opportunity to win or obtain best possible placing in Race 3 the Newcastle Harness Meeting on Thursday 11 October 2012.

The particulars of the charge being that:

(1) He remained racing three wide on the final turn behind Digtheboy for an extended period of time when there was an opportunity to move wider on the track to obtain clear running.

(2) He failed to drive Victory out in his usual vigour

(3) He only struck the sulky shafts with the whip in the run to the finish.

(4) He failed to release the deafeners during the race, which is a normal practice on Victory.

Mr Formosa was suspended from driving in races for a period of six (6) months.

Stewards issued a further charge under Rule 149(2) of the Australian Harness Racing Rules which states:

A person shall not drive in a manner which in the opinion of the stewards is unacceptable.

Mr Formosa was charged in the alternative for driving Victory in an unacceptable manner in Race 3 the Newcastle Harness Meeting on Thursday 11 October 2012. Mr Formosa pleaded guilty to this charge.

The particulars of the charge being that:

(1) He drove Victory in an unacceptable manner in that he remained on the back of Digtheboy rounding the final turn.

(2) He failed to drive the gelding out in his usual vigour over the concluding stages

(3) His failure to release the deafeners.

In relation to this charge Mr Formosa was suspended from driving in races for a period of two (2) months to be served concurrently with the 6 month penalty imposed.

Stewards also continued an inquiry into the driving tactics adopted by trainer/driver Mr. Geoff Harding on Strathlachlanlucky in Race 5 at the Newcastle Harness Meeting on Thursday 11 October 2012.

Further evidence was taken Geoff Harding.

G Harding explained that after Strathlachlanlucky attained the lead in the early stages it was his intention to relinquish the position to Bundchen however that mare did not make a genuine challenge for the lead as he had anticipated. However when Image Of Light pressed forward wider on the track near the 1600 metres and commenced to challenge strongly, he elected to relinquish the lead to that gelding which was consistent with the usual tactics of Strathlachlanlucky.

Mr. G Harding’s explanation was noted.

COURTESY OF HARNESS RACING NEW SOUTH WALES

The race in question:

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