LONDON (Reuters) - Confusion reigned at a British race meeting when a 50-1 winner was discovered to have been an imposter, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) said on Thursday.
Two-year-old Mandarin Princess was declared the winner of the 8.40 a.m. ET race at Great Yarmouth, beating favorite Fyre Cay, but a microchip scan afterwards found the horse was actually three-year-old stablemate Millie's Kiss.
Race stewards referred the matter to the BHA who later issued a statement.
"The incident at Great Yarmouth has been referred to the BHA's head office in order that we can carry out an investigation, in accordance with our rules," it said.
"Since we introduced the microchipping identification system an incident such as this is, as far as we are aware, unprecedented. The issue had not been established until after the result had been made official."
According to stipendiary steward Tony McGlone, speaking to At The Races, the mix-up occurred after a stable girl took both Mandarin Princess and Millie's Kiss out of their stable boxes before trainer Charlie McBride arrived from the weighing room to put the saddle on the horse.
The BHA said responsibility lay with the trainer to present and run the correct horse in the race.
"Having said that, and while we have not seen an incident of this nature in recent times, we will of course determine what steps need to be put in place to prevent it from happening again," the BHA said.
"We sympathize with the betting operators and betting public who have potentially been affected by this incident."
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)