Racing NSW investigate race run over wrong distance

Tuncurry-Forster Jockey Club raced on Thursday.

Racing pundits were sent into a frenzy on Thursday following the running of the fourth race at Tuncurry-Forster Jockey Club meeting.

The event was initially slated as the 1205m Country Boosted benchmark 58 Handicap, with ten runners to go around in the $30,000 event. 

For an unknown reason, the race started at the 1305m point, but that didn’t bother favourite punters, who watched with ease as the Wayne Wilkes-trained Cool Duke ($1.70) cruised to a comfortable victory under the guidance of apprentice Shae Wilkes. 

The Tony Ball-trained Run Rory Run (Mollie Fitzgerald, $9) placed second, and the Todd Howlett-trained So You Suggest (Mikayla Weir, $10) rounded out the top three.

Following the running of the race, after the riders of the placed horses had weighed in, the correct weight was declared on the numbers semaphored by the Judge. The correct weight was officially declared at 2.54 pm.

Sometime later, after the running of Race 5, Stewards identified that Race 4, which was advertised as being over the distance of 1205m, had been started from the incorrect starting position at the 1305m.

Stewards then had to give consideration as to whether they should use their discretion under Australian Rules of Racing AR201 to declare the race void. AR201 states:

Discretion of Stewards if race started from incorrect starting position: If a race is started from the incorrect starting position the Stewards may declare the race void and, if in the circumstances they consider it appropriate, order that the race be re-run on that day.

Racing NSW stewards decided that the result of the race should stand.

“Having regard to the time that had elapsed after correct weight had been declared, thereby confirming the race’s official result, Stewards determined that should stand with the official results to reflect the distance of the race as being 1305 metres. Accordingly, all bets placed on the race stand,” a Racing NSW statement read. 

An investigation into the error has commenced, and all relevant officials at the Tuncurry race meeting were interviewed.