A Case of Mistaken Identity
Trainer Charlie McBride found himself at the centre of a major controversy recently. Following an unexpected win for Mandarin Princess at Yarmouth, it emerged that the horse wasn’t Mandarin Princess after all but rather Millie’s Kiss, another horse trained by Mr. McBride!
Punters were initially bemused when red hot favourite Fyre Cay was beaten by 50-1 outsider Mandarin Princess. But routine tests after the race revealed that the wrong horse had run. When a chip in the horse’s neck was scanned, the racecourse vet discovered that the winning horse was actually Millie’s Kiss, a similar looking animal who had been due to run in a later race.
The Implications for Punters
The stewards then held an inquiry into the incident. They interviewed the people involved and after hearing the available evidence the referred the matter to the British Horseracing Authority. Millie’s Kiss was ordered to be withdrawn from race four on the card. Sadly for those who had placed a bet on the race, the result had to stand for betting purposes. However, most of the major bookmakers chose to do the decent thing and have paid out on the second-place horse as the winner.
The stipendiary steward Tony McGlone has said that all horses arriving at the racecourse are allocated boxes. Charlie MacBride’s two horses were given their boxes. Mr. McBride then went to the weighing room to collect a saddle and was held up during the process. This resulted in him having to rush back to the horses. When he got back to the horses, the stable girl had already taken one horse out of the stable. The two horses concerned were of similar appearance. It is at this moment that the mistake was made – allegedly!
Investigation into the Result
The British Horseracing Authority now has 14 days to investigate the incident and to lodge an objection to the result of the race. Since racehorses have been microchipped, this is the first occasion on which a case of mistaken identity has been discovered following a race. But a similar incident did occur in 1996 at Southwell when Loch Style, trained by Reg Hollinshead, ran in the name of Taniyar in the Waterford Median Auction Stakes.
As the recent issue was only revealed after the result had been made official, the result could not then be amended by the stewards at the course. The reasons for the mistake will be examined. Then measures can be put in place to prevent a similar error being made in the future.