Photo-finish error at Sandown leads to incorrect result being called

Sat 9 Mar 2019

Watch what Will Hudson, Chief Steward at the BHA, had to say to Lydia Hislop about the photo-finish error at Sandown on Saturday plus interviews with Andrew Cooper and Hughie Morrison.

Confusion reigned in the EBF Matchbook VIP “National Hunt” Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Final at Sandown, with the judge incorrectly calling One For Rosie as the winner.

The 12-1 chance, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and ridden by his son, Sam, had been announced as beating the Hughie Morrison-trained, Tom O’Brien-ridden Third Wind.

But it transpired the call had been based on a photo-finish print from the first winning post on the track, when in fact the second one should have been used for the two-and-a-half-mile contest, at which Third Wind (9-1) had edged in front.

Watch how the finish at Sandown unfolded

After a lengthy delay, the result was subsequently reversed.

Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, SkyBet and Betway were among the bookmakers to announce they were paying out on both results.

Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield: “Once again we’ve seen very unfortunate circumstances in the wrong result being called and it’s hit us where it hurts most.

"Hopefully, this will be the last incident of its kind, but you probably wouldn’t bet on it.”

A statement issued by the BHA read: "The incorrect result was initially given in the 1.50pm at Sandown this afternoon announcing One For Rosie as the winner.

Why are there two winning posts at Sandown? Andrew Cooper told Lydia Hislop more

"The photo finish image that was sent to the Judge, and then subsequently to the Stewards, by the racecourse photo finish operator was from a camera which had been left focused on the winning line for the chase course.

"There are two cameras in operation, a primary and a secondary, which were tested by the operator as part of routine pre-race checks on both winning lines prior to racing. The primary camera was then not correctly re-aligned to focus on the winning line for the hurdles course.

"An initial provisional result was given, shortly after which it was picked up through additional verification procedures by the Judge that the wrong image had been sent by the racecourse photo finish operator."

It added: "The result was then corrected to announce Third Wind as the winner, prior to the "weighed in" signal being given and the result becoming official.

Hughie Morrison was eventually the winning trainer

"Although the result is only official once the "weighed in" signal is given and the result was corrected prior to this, we are aware of the impact this will have on those bookmakers who settle bets based on the “fast” unofficial result, which is the one initially announced.

"We will be investigating this incident thoroughly as a matter of priority to understand all of the circumstances involved, this will include engagement with the external racecourse contractors who operate the photo finish system."

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