Royal return of pounds 51 on the Tote for 5-1 winner

The all-weather meeting at Lingfield just about survived an inch of rain in an hour to stage yesterday's meeting but the Tote blew a fuse which resulted in a freak dividend for the first winner that was 10 times greater than the starting-price.

Racing started 15 minutes late because of the wet conditions and there was no on-course Tote betting in the opener. The "machine" managed to work for the next three races but was out of action again for the last three contests.

The Tote's racecourse manager, Jennifer Hurley, explained: "Our computer wouldn't talk to the Wigan computer for the first race. Then it froze after the off for the fourth race and we had to pay out manually."

When Royal Action won the delayed opening race, he was returned at a starting-price of 5-1. But he paid pounds 51.30 to a pounds 1 stake on the Tote because of the computer fault at the track Tote wagers were possible only via course-to-course betting at Newton Abbot and Wetherby and at betting shops.

Five days before his Japan Cup attempt, Helissio was crowned champion of Europe last night in the sixth annual Cartier awards. The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner, currently in Tokyo being prepared for Sunday's pounds 1m contest, was also acclaimed best three-year-old colt for winning most points in pattern races. Bosra Sham was top three-year-old filly.

The dual French Group One winner Revoque was champion two-year-old, although pattern-race points gave Bahamian Bounty and Pas De Reponse the titles of best two-year-old colt and filly respectively.

Frankie Dettori received an award of merit in recognition of riding all seven winners at the Ascot Festival in September.

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