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Huge racing controversy erupts as trainer whose horse finished last demands race be voided after new footage emerges

A HUGE Epsom controversy has led to calls from a furious trainer for a race to be VOIDED after a ‘farcical’ start.

Punters said the stalls opening at different times in last Saturday’s Epsom Dash – the fastest race in the country – was a ‘disgrace’.

Stalls 16, 18, 19 and 20 are still clearly shut while those from stall 15 down are jumping out

Four stalls on the near-side rail opened ‘fractionally slower’ than the other 16.

Lihou, an 11-1 chance from stall 18, finished last and footage clearly showed his gates still partially shut while others were wide open.

Stewards decided on the day that the start did not ‘materially impact’ the horse’s chance of winning.

However, new footage shows some horses gained a clear advantage by breaking ahead of others.

David Evans, a multiple Group winner who has had dual Wokingham success with Rohaan, said his horse had no hope following the stalls mishap.

And he told the Racing Post he and the other affected trainers should be reimbursed for costs given all chance of victory was, in his opinion, lost at the start.

He said: “It just doesn’t seem right that they’ve allowed the race to stand.

“I can’t believe they can say it hasn’t materially impacted the result.

“But, even if they think that, they should reimburse all the expenses for those four horses, but who knows who would do that.

“My horse goes in late anyway. Hollie Doyle said he banged his head trying to anticipate the start.

“Then he’s seen all the others go, has gone himself and banged his head again. That was it then, he had no chance.”

The horses who started from the impacted stalls – 16, 18, 19 and 20 – finished 15th, 20th, 14th and 17th respectively.

Jockey Kieran O’Neill was aboard 6-1 favourite Live In The Moment, who broke from stall 20.

He was adamant most of the field were at an advantage because ‘they jumped before some stalls had even opened’.

O’Neill tweeted: “In the words of the BHA ‘not materially effected ‘ in the fastest 5f race ran ….. the gates ‘marginally slower to open’ 75 per cent of the field had jumped before some had even opened. Drawn 20 my horses head nearly got stuck on the centre!!!”

Punters watching the race, won by the 25-1 George Boughey-trained Navello, were certain the race should have been declared null and void, with stakes refunded.

One wrote: “Hard to see how or why the stewards won’t void the Dash at Epsom. Four horses were beaten by the stalls.”

Another comment read: “This is embarrassing for our sport. How can we move forward with decisions like this.”

One livid punter wrote: “Such a terrible decision and a very poor explanation of the reasoning behind as well.”

While another said: “Absolutely idiotic decision.”

Evans said the race should have been voided and his costs covered after the stalls incident

Did you miss our previous article…