Thoroughbred `filly' was really a colt
Monday 03 August 1998
The episode was a case of mistaken identity, nothing more sinister.
But yesterday those closest to the horses, among 100 trained by Jack Berry at Cockerham, in Lancashire, were not only apologetic but also deeply embarrassed. For although the pair are, at a glance, similar looking - both bays, with a small white mark on their foreheads - there is one fairly important difference.
Perigeux, you see, is a colt and Royal Dream is a filly. And the question that is begged is how a collection of so-called experts at the Lanarkshire track could have failed to notice that a contestant in a race confined to the fair sex (the Glengoyne Single Highland Malt Fillies' Handicap, to be precise) was, in fact, hung like a ... er ... um ... horse.
Among those who failed to spot the mistake were the trainer's son, Alan, who was supervising the stable's runners, the joint owner, the retired trainer Gerry Blum, who helped saddle his colt, the jockey, John Carroll, course officials, the starter and even the paddockside pundits.
Perigeux duly finished last, which was no surprise, given that this was a two-year-old running in error against three-year-olds. It was only after the race, when Perigeux returned with his tail - and more besides - between his legs, that Alan Berry realised the error of his ways.
"The two horses look very similar and it was only after the race that I spotted the difference," he said.
Berry senior's wife, Jo, said yesterday: "We are so sorry. The lad with the horse brought him from the racecourse stables to the saddling boxes rather late and Alan and Gerry just shoved the tack on quickly. It was Alan himself who informed the stewards what had happened. And perhaps it explains why the horse was unusually uppity down at the start, as a colt surrounded by all those fillies. Never mind Royal Dream, it's just a bad dream. It makes us all look like incompetent amateurs."
Although wrong horses have, on occasion, been sent out to race in the past, it is thought this is the first time a colt has been mistaken for a filly or vice versa.
The big bookmaking firms have agreed to refund bets to the punters who backed the so-called Royal Dream, the 7-2 second favourite for the six- furlong contest, but those on-course were not so lucky. The matter has been referred to the Jockey Club, which will hold an inquiry and doubtless levy a fine in due course.
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Lee Rigby murder: How killers Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale became ultra-violent radicals
Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
Paul Walker death caused by speed alone
Apollo Theatre collapse: Scores injured after ceiling collapses in London's West End
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 North Koreans are gasping for the truth: Let's give it to them
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
- < Previous
- Next >
£36000 - £43000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Available Immedia...
£17000 - £25000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Birmingham office of thi...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: HoD Maths Salary: MP...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: Client based in West London is looking ...