Racing: Short hop, long face

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The Independent Online
GLEE RAPIDLY turned to dismay for Dean Mernagh yesterday just after his mount had past Carlisle's winning post with his rivals a long way back. The apprentice rider thought he had won - until he realised it was a marathon, not a sprint.

Mernagh was riding Paronomasia, in the two-mile one-furlong race. Dashing the horse out of the stalls, Mernagh had him clear before easing down the 33-1 shot as he passed the line. Mernagh tried to get back into the race but the six-year-old trailed in last of 15 runners.

Jimmy Harris, Paronomasia's trainer, said: "He told me he got the race mixed up with the one before and thought it was a sprint race."

Mernagh was suspended for seven days for mistaking the distance of the race, the minimum the stewards could impose for an apprentice.