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Bizarre scenes in Newmarket as Aidan O'Brien duo carry wrong jockey and numbers

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Pretty Gorgeous ridden by Shane Crosse (second left) wins The bet365 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket Racecourse. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday October 3, 2020. See PA story RACING Newmarket. Photo credit should read: Alan Crowhurst/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use.

Pretty Gorgeous ridden by Shane Crosse (second left) wins The bet365 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket Racecourse. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday October 3, 2020. See PA story RACING Newmarket. Photo credit should read: Alan Crowhurst/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use.

Pretty Gorgeous ridden by Shane Crosse (second left) wins The bet365 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket Racecourse. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday October 3, 2020. See PA story RACING Newmarket. Photo credit should read: Alan Crowhurst/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use.

A challenging week for Aidan O'Brien took yet another bizarre twist today when his Fillies' Mile duo of Mother Earth and Snowfall, which was officially handed third place, carried the wrong saddle cloths with the wrong jockey also aboard.

The Newmarket Group One faces a significant revision after it quickly emerged that Snowfall, a 50/1 chance which was was supposed to carry the No 9 and be partnered by James Doyle, incorrectly wore the No 5 cloth and was ridden by William Buick.

She finished eighth of 10 and not third, as had been officially announced post-race whereas Mother Earth, an 18/1 shot, was the one which finished third behind Joseph O'Brien's winner Pretty Gorgeous in the No 9 cloth under James Doyle.

Confusion reigned in the aftermath when some eagle-eyed punters highlighted the mistake on social media with O'Brien quickly moving to apologise.

After being forced to withdraw all of his runners from last Sunday's Arc meeting at Longchamp due to contaminated feed, O'Brien could hardly have envisaged that such another strange scenario would unfold within days of that.

O’Brien later admitted that his on-course staff had mixed up the two fillies when speaking to Press Association from his Ballydoyle base in Tipperary.

“I didn’t see the race, I just listened to it. Someone brought it to my attention then afterwards – that someone had tweeted that they were the wrong fillies," the Irish champion trainer said.

“I went straight away to look at the race and the minute I saw them coming out of the stalls I knew that they were the wrong fillies.

“Obviously I rang the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) straight away and said it to them. What happened was that our lads put the wrong saddles on the wrong fillies.”

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Mother Earth, the darker of the two fillies, is likely to face disqualification and O'Brien handed a hefty fine when he BHA hold an enquiry before racing at Newmarket tomorrow.

A BHA spokesperson said: “The stewards have been made aware of a potential issue regarding the Group One Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket today which have resulted in the incorrect rider and number cloths being carried by the two horses trained by Aidan O’Brien.

“A stewards enquiry will be held on the racecourse tomorrow to consider all of the relevant evidence and determine the course of events and what action needs to be taken.”

Ladbrokes later settled each-way bets on Mother Earth as if she had placed while bets already settled with Snowfall as the third placed horse also stood and Betfair punters were paid out on Snowfall, Mother Earth and Dubai Fountain (the fourth horse home) each finishing third.


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