Wrong Horse Won at Yarmouth Racecourse in England
Written on the 28 July 2017
Bookmakers and punters affected were not happy when it was discovered that Mandarin Princess, the Charlie McBride-trained two-year-old was in fact her elder stablemate Millie's Kiss when she was declared a winner at a Maiden Fillies' Stakes in Yarmouth, England.
The mistake was discovered only after the 50-1 outsider had overturned the 4-6 favourite, Fyre Cay yesterday and the winner went in for a routine scan. The horse was then discovered to be Millie's Kiss, a three-year-old with plenty of experience and due to race later in the day but subsequently withdrawn.
The stewards' report said, "The stewards held an inquiry to consider the circumstances surrounding the identification of the winner, Mandarin Princess, trained by Philip (Charlie) McBride, which was presented at the sampling unit for routine testing."
"The scan identified the horse to be Millie's Kiss, the trainer's other runner in race four."
"They interviewed the trainer, the stable groom, the veterinary officer and the equine welfare integrity officer responsible for the sampling unit."
"Having heard their evidence, they referred the matter to the head office of the British Horseracing Authority and ordered Millie's Kiss to be withdrawn from race four."
The stipendiary steward Tony McGlone told At The Races, "As all horses are, they are brought into the stables and they are scanned and are allocated into their boxes. These two horses, trained by Charlie McBride, were given a box each.
"Mr McBride went over to the weighing room to collect the saddle and was slightly delayed collecting it. He rushed over. The stable girl had taken the horse out of the stables and put it in the saddling boxes. Mr McBride put the saddle on, the horse ran, it won.
"We then sent the horse for routine testing as per normal. The integrity officer scanned the horse and found it to be the wrong horse."
Most high street bookmakers did the right thing, paying out the winner and second as a winner, a decision that has cost them over 50,000 pounds.
The British Horseracing Authority will launch an investigation into the matter.
In a statement the BHA said, "The incident at Great Yarmouth has been referred to the BHA's head office in order that we can carry out an investigation, in accordance with our rules. Since we introduced the micro-chipping identification system an incident such as this is, as far as we are aware, unprecendented.
"The issue had not been established until after the result had been made official. After the weighed in (announcement) has been declared on the racecourse, the result cannot be amended by the stewards. The responsibility lies with the trainer to present and run the correct horse in the race. Having said that, and while we have not seen an incident of this nature in recent times, we will of course determine what steps need to be put in place to prevent it from happening again. We sympathise with the betting operators and betting public who have potentially been affected by this incident."