STAFFORDSHIRE Moorlands race horse trainer Jennie Candlish was caught up in a ‘wrong horse’ drama at Uttoxeter Races on Sunday.
Stewards were not satisfied the Basford Green stable’s newcomer Candlelight Story was the right horse entered in the first race .
As a result the stewards ordered the seven year old mare to be taken out of the opening Junior Brewers’ Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
Stipendiary steward Greg Pearson said: “The stewards held an inquiry acting on a report from the veterinary officer that the horse presented as Candlelight Story was unable to be identified by microchip.
“They used five different scanning devices to try and identify the horse. The horse presented either had no microchip or one that was unreadable.”
Mr Pearson said the distinctive markings on the horse’s passport also did not match up.
Candlish was represented before the stewards by her assistant and partner Alan O’Keeffe, who said owner was “adamant” the horse in question was the right one.
He stressed: “We haven’t brought the wrong horse far as we’re concerned, she couldn’t be microchipped, it looks like there is one there, but it couldn’t be scanned and read for some reason.
“We were sent the horse from the owner unraced and sometimes the markings are wrong.
“As far as the owner is concerned it was the right horse, but obviously we have to agree with the BHA because they can’t read the microchip and there was no other option but to have her withdrawn.
“As far as the owner is concerned that is the passport that came with the horse. We don’t want people thinking we took the wrong horse, the microchip is the key point and if had come up hopefully it would have matched the passport number.
“If the markings had matched the passport, the horse would have run.”
Blood samples and they have been sent to Weatherbys (administrators) to identify the horse, and if necessary the passport will be altered
“She’s a seven-year-old and things can change, markings-wise. The owner is adamant this is the right horse,” said O’Keefe.
The Uttoxeter stewards were anxious not to have a repeat of what happened just days before at Yarmouth Races, where winner of the opening two-year-old was not the horse entered but was a stablemate
The mistake was only discovered after the 50-1 outsider had overturned the race’s 4-6 favourite.