Controversy as the wrong horse wins Yarmouth race
Controversy reigned at Yarmouth when it was discovered that the Charlie McBride-trained Mandarin Princess, winner of the opening two-year-old race, was in fact stablemate Millie's Kiss.
The mistake was only discovered after the 50-1 outsider had overturned the 4-6 hot-pot Fyre Cay on her racecourse debut in the six-furlong novice auction stakes for juveniles.
Dramatic news – the 'winner' of Yarmouth's opener, 2yo Mandarin Princess, was in fact 3yo stablemate Millie's Kiss. More to follow… pic.twitter.com/nbmK7rpc8l— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) July 27, 2017
Millie's Kiss, a three-year-old with plenty of racecourse experience, was due to run in the nine-furlong handicap later on the card but was subsequently withdrawn.
A report issued by the British Horseracing Authority: "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they referred the matter to the head office of the British Horseracing Authority and ordered Millie's Kiss to be withdrawn from race four."
Huge story at Yarmouth – earlier 'winner' Mandarin Princess was in fact stablemate Millie's Kiss. Stipendiary steward Tony McGlone explains: pic.twitter.com/a4EXePMrAG— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) July 27, 2017
Despite the wrong horse having won the race, the result is set to stand – for the time being.
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. We have referred it to the British Horseracing Authority for further consideration.
"I think the BHA have got 14 days to lodge an objection to the winner. We'll obviously send a report from here and they will look into the matter."
Instances such as this are extremely rare but one such case was at Southwell in January 1996.
In a case of mistaken identity, Loch Style, trained by Reg Hollinshead, ran in the name of Taniyar in the Waterford Median Auction Stakes.
Loch Style had been entered to run later at the meeting but he was saddled up and sent out for the earlier race instead of his stablemate and finished seventh.
Hollinshead did not realise a mistake had been made until the horse was taken into the unsaddling enclosure after the race.