Aidan O'Brien apologies for embarrassing Newmarket mix-up

Aidan O’Brien apologies for embarrassing Newmarket mix-up after two of his runners in the Group One Fillies’ Mile ran with the wrong number cloths and wrong jockeys on board

  • O’Brien has apologised after a mix-up with his runners in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile
  • The mix-up meant 50-1 third Snowfall was in fact 18-1 stablemate Mother Earth
  • Snowfall, ridden by William Buick, was actually eighth behind Pretty Gorgeous

Stewards at Newmarket will hold an inquiry on Saturday, after the two Aidan O’Brien contenders for the Group One Bet365 Fillies’ Mile ran with the wrong number cloths and wrong jockeys on board.

The mix-up means the 50-1 third Snowfall, ridden by James Doyle, was in fact stablemate and 18-1 shot Mother Earth. The real Snowfall, ridden by William Buick, finished eighth of 10 behind Pretty Gorgeous.

Alarm bells started ringing when eagle-eyed observers raised concerns on social media and were confirmed when O’Brien contacted the BHA, whose system of checking the identity microchips in a horse’s neck was not to blame for the mix-up.

Pretty Gorgeous (second left) was initially thought to have won from Indigo Girl and Snowfall

O’Brien, who last weekend had to withdraw all of his runners from the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, admitted the embarrassing mix-up.

‘I was tied up all day so I didn’t see the race live and it was brought to my attention from Twitter,’ he told the Racing Post.

‘That was the first I was aware of it. I had listened to the race, so when I looked at the replay after it was brought to my attention, I could see straight away.

‘I contacted the BHA straight away and let them know what is after happening. We have a team based in England these days because of the coronavirus restrictions, so the problem is the lads that are with the horses at home can’t always go racing with them.’

Because of Covid-19, O’Brien has a team based in Britain and the mix-up appeared down to them being unfamiliar with the horses, with Buick and Doyle also having no experience of their mounts.

A BHA statement read: ‘Stewards will consider all of the relevant evidence and determine what action needs to be taken.’

Bookmakers announced courses of action which meant punters did not lose out because of the error.

Meanwhile, Pretty Gorgeous is 6-1 for next season’s 1,000 Guineas after a half-length win from Indigo Girl. Her success was a first at Group One level for Shane Crosse. 

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