Wrong Horse Runs and Wins at Yarmouth
Imaging cashing a ticket on a 50-1 long shot winner, and then finding out it wasn’t even the horse that was entered in the race. Punters were left mystified Thursday when the wrong horse ran-in-and-won the opening race at Yarmouth, causing quite a commotion in the racing world.
The winner on the program of the 6 furlong novice auction race outside London was 50-1 shot Mandarin Princess, who beat the odds-on-favorite Fyre Cay by a neck. It later emerged the wrong horse had run and won, namely Mandarin Princess’ her 3-year-old stablemate Millie’s Kiss, who was scheduled to run late on the card in the fourth race, but was subsequently withdrawn.
The trainer Charlie McBride was responsible for both horses but the mistaken identity was discovered only when the ‘winner’ was taken for a routine sample and the scan by the veterinary officer discovered it was not Mandarin Princess but Millie’s Kiss.
Because the result had already been declared official, Yarmouth stewards could not amend it and have had to refer it to the British Horseracing Authority.
The BHA released a statement that read: “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 microchipping identification system an incident such as this is, as far as we are aware, unprecedented. The issue had not been established until after the result had been made official. After the weighed in has been declared on the racecourse, the result cannot be amended by the stewards.”
According to stipendiary steward Tony McGlone, the mix-up occurred after a stable girl took both Mandarin Princess and Millie’s Kiss out of their stable boxes before trainer Charlie McBride arrived from the weighing room to put the saddle on the horse.
The BHA said responsibility lay with the trainer to present and run the correct horse in the race, 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.”