False Start Fury At Goodwood

False Start Fury At Goodwood

Angry trainers have begun to surround the British Horseracing Authority, after a mixup in Goodwood's sixth race on Saturday resulted in half of the six runners to be left 'drunk on their legs'.

Veteran Milton Bradley along with his colleague Stuart Williams voiced their beliefs for the sport's governing body to review its guidelines, after the dubious six-furlong handicap on the Sussex Downs was waved off by the starters following a false start, and won eventually by Richard Fahey's Paddy Power at the second time of asking.

Bradley's runner Englishman was among three of the field found to be suffering from post-race ataxia [a syndrome characterised by loss of balance in walking following exercise] after the race had to be stopped and restarted.

The incident occurred after Charlie Wallis' Zac Brown - who was withdrawn before the second start, was adjudged to have broken early giving him an unfair advantage.

On course vets assessed the other participants after they were called back to the top of the hill, and were all deemed fit and healthy to race.

However post-race, Shamshon, Englishman and Upavon - who finished third, fifth and sixth respectively were all found to be suffering problems, whilst the winner also bled.

(Credit: Racing Post) Speaking on Sunday, trainer Bradley said: "I'm a bit sick after yesterday's race.

"It was terrible what went on. Those sprinters are full of flying and the jockeys would have had a job to stop them.

"Three of them were dehydrated afterwards, drunk on their legs. Our horse seems all right now, but when sprinters like that get out well and are running, it's a total farce to stop them.

"Our horse was geed up after that and the jockey [Pat Cosgrave] said he couldn't hold him.

"He never wins if he goes to the front, but the jockey couldn't hold him, so let him go and then he stops. I think it was another real farce job. I think they were dead wrong."

Meanwhile, Williams believes the race should have carried on first time around, with actions taken in the stewards room against Zac Brown if he had prevailed.

He said: "It's difficult. I think the rules were applied correctly and I'm not complaining about anybody doing their job, I just question whether the rules are right in the case where there are aged sprinters involved.

"It's very hard to pull them up once they've gone a furlong. In this case probably the best thing to do was let the race be run and then decide if they thought Zac Brown had pushed the gate open afterwards.

"Either void the race or void him – deem him a non-runner."

In response to the saga, a BHA representative has since come out and stated: "We will be looking at the circumstances of the false start from Goodwood as part of the usual wash-up procedure for incidents like this and will include any feedback from trainers in those discussions."