Grosvenor Sport

BHA should pay for photo finish error not bookmakers

William Hill has called on the British Horseracing Association (BHA) to refund bookmakers after a stewards mistake at Lingfield yesterday left them out of pocket.

A foggy meeting saw a photo finish in the 2.55 for third place between the 20/1 Elementary and the 7/1 Sun Angel, with Elementary declared as third. However an inquiry at the end of the meeting found that Sun Angel had in fact pipped Elementary to the line and Judge Graham Ford informed stewards that he wished to change his original decision.

On course punters were then informed that the placings had been revised, but confusingly the original result stood for betting purposes because the riders had all weighed in.

Punters were understandably annoyed at this and most bookmakers agreed to pay out on each way bets for Sun Angel as well as Elementary, despite being under no obligation to do so.

William Hill’s Jon Ivan-Duke told the Racing Post: “Punters shouldn’t have to suffer so we’ll pay out on ‘both’ results on this occasion, but the BHA should refund bookmakers for every error of this nature.

“It is entirely the fault of the judge, so why should bookmakers bear the brunt of another sorry saga from British horseracing? Unfortunately, trust in the governing body is at an all-time low and that confidence needs to be restored as a matter of urgency.”

BHA media manager Robin Mounsey commented: “We regret that the result was initially called incorrectly. We are aware of the obvious betting implications and are taking this very seriously. A report will be forwarded to the BHA’s head office in order that we can examine all the circumstances and decide what action is necessary.”

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