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Epsom’s void race debacle

Today’s five furlong handicap at Epsom created plenty of drama on a wet and windy day, with a false start meaning that the race was called void despite all runners taking part. Taurus Twins broke through his starting gate before the rest of the field was released and despite the flagman still being on the track, runners and riders continued to race, stating that they had not seen the flag being waved.


The ‘race’ was eventually ‘won’ by the George Baker trained Humidor with James Doyle in the plate and afterwards Doyle and his weigh-room colleagues Ryan Moore, Sam James, Paul Hanagan, David Probert, Kieran O’Neill, Daniel Muscutt and Martin Lane were interviewed by the stewards.


After the inquiry, all jockeys were cleared of blame having said that they had not seen the flagman and the flagman confirmed that he had moved to his right out of the line of sight of the jockeys, with the bad weather conditions also being taken to into the equation.


The riders were cleared of any wrong doing, meaning that they will be free to ride in both the St Leger and at the Irish Champions weekend, meetings they would have been forced to miss if found guilty and subsequently suspended.


Steward Colin Vickers told the Racing Post: “The race was void because the starter had called a false start, the flagman waved the flag, and none of the jockeys pulled up before crossing the finishing line. Voiding the race was automatic.


“Calling it a false start was the starter’s decision. He’s on the rostrum and he sees if a horse has gained an unfair advantage.”


By Kevin Walsh  25/8/14

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