Bookmakers’ frustration at Lingfield result farce

For betting purposes, the result original result will stand

PICTURE: Getty Images Bookmakers' frustration at Lingfield result farce By Mark Scully 4:46PM 28 DEC 2016

PUNTERS and bookmakers were left frustrated at Lingfield on Wednesday when a photo finish was amended after the judge had called the wrong placings but the result was left as it was originally declared for betting purposes.

The fog that obscured much of the earlier races at Lingfield had all but cleared by the 2.55pm contest, but confusion still reigned as the result was amended after the wrong horse was incorrectly placed third in a tight photo finish.

Judge Graham Ford initially called the Michael Bell-trained Elementary (20-1) in third, a nose in front of Sun Angel (7-1), in the 7f nursery won by Vatican Hill. However, replays showed the pair had finished the other way around and an inquiry was held following the day's final race after Ford informed the stewards he wished to correct the result.

Shortly after 4pm, an announcement was made on course that the placings had been reversed, but for betting purposes the result stands as originally called because the riders had all weighed in.

Stipendiary steward Sam Angell said: "Graham came forward and said he would like to reconsider his decision on the seventh race and after the stewards viewed the print the placings were revised to place Sun Angel third and Elementary fourth.

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"But for betting purposes the original result stands as the weighed-in signal had been given."

The stewards will forward a report on the incident to the BHA in London.

Bookmaker reaction

With the result official, bookmakers paid out on the each-way portion of bets on Elementary and are under no obligation to do the same for backers of Sun Angel, despite the mix up.

However, Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair, Betfred and Sky Bet confirmed they would be paying out on both results, despite some expressing frustration about doing so.

Paddy Power's Paul Binfield said: "We're delighted to be paying out each-way on Sun Angel and wonder whether the judge had a few too many sherries at lunch!"

William Hill's Jon Ivan-Duke was less impressed and called on officials to cover the cost of the increased pay-out.

"Punters shouldn't have to suffer so we'll pay out on 'both' results on this occasion, but the BHA should refund bookmakers for every error of this nature," he said.

"It is entirely the fault of the judge, so why should bookmakers bear the brunt of another sorry saga from British horseracing? Unfortunately, trust in the governing body is at an all-time low and that confidence needs to be restored as a matter of urgency."

Betfair spokesman Barry Orr also confirmed that bets settled on the exchange at the weighed in result will not be amended.

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