Racing: Jackpot falls foul of Fakenham farce

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The Independent Online
THE TOTE Jackpot, which grew to pounds 682,927.45 following a carry over of pounds 295,436 from Cheltenham, had to be paid out on just the first five races at Fakenham yesterday after the last race was declared void.

All 11 runners in the EDP Champion for Sport Conditional Jockeys Maiden Hurdle were disqualified for taking the wrong course. The incident occurred at the third-last obstacle which had been omitted due to a broken flight.

The hurdle was dolled off and according to the racecourse instructions, the riders were meant to bypass it on the inside. However the field, led by Seamus Durack on Tangshan, failed to do so.

Tangshan, who went on to pass the post in second, went round the outside of the hurdle as did nine of the other runners, the exception being the heavily-backed Jamorin Dancer who actually jumped the obstacle. Jamorin Dancer's jockey Ross Studholme then claimed he had pulled up, retraced his steps and bypassed the hurdle as per the instructions in the belief this would get him the race.

However judge Dave Smith had already left his box and so was unable to place the horse.

Hurricane Jane, the 13-8 favourite, was first past the post, nine lengths clear of Tangshan (7-4) with Just A Madam (10-1) threequarters of a lengths further back in third.

Jamorin Dancer's owner-trainer Michael Banks said: "It's a shambles. I shall have to consider an appeal. Studholme deserves a lot of credit. He's used his brain."

The Tote Jackpot paid pounds 19,638.80 to a pounds 1 stake, odds of over 19,637-1. There were 24.69 winning tickets. The equivalent starting price accumulator on the first five races was 753-1.