FOR the THIRD time in recent days, racing has shot itself in the foot.
It comes as EIGHT horses were disqualified in one race at Fontwell, leaving Dharma Rain as the winner and only horse deemed to have finished – despite her passing the post in seventh.
Jack Tudor on the winner was the only jockey to jump the hurdle under scrutiny in the 3.50 From The Horse's Mouth Podcast Mares' Handicap Hurdle.
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The other EIGHT riders all swerved the hurdle at the last minute after a number of workers wandered on the track.
The jockeys expected the hurdle to be 'dolled-off' – signs put in place to miss the hurdle – after it was damaged on the first circuit.
But it was too late for the signs and flags to be put concretely in place and in theory the hurdle should have been jumped.
But the jockeys were left in an impossible situation and continued to ride the rest of the race.
After a lengthy Stewards Inquiry all eight horses that skipped the hurdle were disqualified and Dharma Rain was named the winner.
It was the latest farcical scene in the racing world just a day after an embarrassing photo finish at Cheltenham where it was 'too dark' to judge the photo.
Last Thursday there was more drama when young jockey Alexander Thorne was disqualified after not weighing out after winning a race live on ITV4.
Punters were quick to voice their concern at yet another racing disaster.
One said: "I’m taking a long long break from the sport now.
"After getting the double up, called a dead heat when I got the winner and then disqualified after getting the winner at Fontwell . The sport has much to do."
Another added: "Absolute disgrace of a decision yesterday at Cheltenham and today at Fontwell, it's the punters that make racing but in the end we punters are paying the price for someonelse mistakes. SHAMBLES"
Several bookmakers again had to pay the price as they paid out on the first three horses past the post before they were later disqualified.
Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield said: "Dharma Rain is the only finisher by the rules, but in these unfortunate circumstances we felt it was only right to pay out on both ‘winners’ and the first three as they crossed the line."
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