Fontwell fiasco as seventh house wins race after mass disqualifications | Horse racing news


Dharma Rain finished near last in the mare handicap obstacle at Fontwell on Sunday, but won the race after the other seven finishers were disqualified for missing an obstacle.Confusion reigned in the 2m3f competition when racetrack staff appeared on the track with arrows and a checkered flag intended to order the jockeys to move around the exterior of Bluebell Sally, who had been ripped off and was being treated by doctors.

But the proximity of the incident to the third and final hurdle meant that seven of the eight remaining jockeys mistook the arrows as an instruction to bypass the obstacle, with Jack Tudor on the Dharma Rain trained by Clare Hobson being the only one to make the jump. .

Watch the race replay

The 100-30 shot finished seventh from the post but was declared the automatic winner after the marshals determined she was the only horse to complete the course.

Harry Reed believed he had won the race aboard the Just Henny trained by Neil Mulholland but, after a long investigation that lasted over half an hour, the decision was made to disqualify all riders except Dharma Rain. .

Tudor told Sky Sports Racing: “It was made very unclear, I thought. It was not well managed at all.

“It looked like this obstacle could have been overcome. It was a 50-50 and I followed my instincts because the markers were behind the obstacle so I decided to jump but it wasn’t clear. ”

Page Fuller, who drove Queen Among Kings to pass the post in fifth, said the faded light in the last race of the day didn’t help matters.

She said: “From where I was further back on the field, the scorers seemed to be in the hazard. Until you got around the obstacle, you couldn’t tell they were behind. “

After hearing testimonies from every rider involved, the BHA announced that disqualified jockeys would no longer be punished for taking the wrong course.

This was due to the real cause for concern created by the unfortunate positioning of the racetrack staff carrying the arrows across the track as the terrain approached the third final obstacle.

The report of the official commissioners of the BHA stated: “Considering, on this occasion, the poor visibility and the illusion that the rafters had been placed in the hedge – which was caused by
rafters crossing the course behind the obstacle causing riders to be concerned for the safety of all involved – no penalties were assessed against any rider. ”

Several bookies have announced that they are paying Just Henny and Dharma Rain as the winners, as well as the two horses that crossed the second and third row, Havacuppa and Kalaya.

Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield said: “Dharma Rain is the only finisher by the rules, but under these unfortunate circumstances we felt it was fair to pay both the ‘winners’ and the three first when they crossed the line. “

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