Done to pay prize-money after void race controversy
Chelmsford boss Done said he would reimburse prize-money in void race
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Done to pay Chelmsford void race prize-money
By Jon Lees 11:43AM 24 FEB 2017
FRED DONE, owner of Chelmsford racecourse, has revealed he will compensate the winners of Thursday's voided race by paying the prize-money out of his own pocket.
The 6f handicap was declared void by stewards after the advanced flag operator mistakenly raised a recall flag and initiated the stop-race procedure, even though it was completed with the jockeys on the seven runners unaware of the signal.
The stewards' decision denied first-past-the-post Nautical Haven, trained by Kevin Ryan and owned by Nick Bradley Racing and partners, one of whom had travelled from Malaga in Spain, a first prize of £6,469, leaving connections to demand compensation.
Joe Scanlon, chairman of the Essex racecourse, spoke to Done on Friday and said: "It did appear to be a race where all the horses and jockeys were unaware of the issue at the start and were doing their best to win fair and square.
"Fred said, having read the comments in the Racing Post this morning, and particularly the lengths one of the owners went to to see his horse run at our racetrack, he would like to pay the prize-money as a goodwill gesture to all concerned as if the race had not been judged void.
"We're not apportioning any blame, it is purely a goodwill gesture on Fred's part."