Beef over barrier blue
The $9000 Charcoal Inn rating 62 Handicap (1000m), which was run as part of the Beef Week Cup meeting, was declared a non-race soon after its finish on Friday when it emerged that the field was not started from their advertised positions.
Northern Rivers chief Steward Bill Fanning has been asked to explain the incident to his superiors at Racing NSW but yesterday declined to comment to The Northern Star.
The State's deputy chairman of stewards Mark Van Gestel said Racing NSW was investigating the incident.
"The horses were all placed in the wrong barrier which resulted in stewards declaring it a non-race," Van Gestel said.
"However, the circumstances surrounding it and what caused it is under investigation.
"We've asked for a report from Bill Fanning.
"We will make a release as to what was the cause ... and protocols will be put in place to ensure it doesn't happen again."
But any finding will be of little consolation for the owners of Visitation who, for five minutes, thought they had won the race.
Visitation trainer Jerome Hunter said he expected the mare to win despite the $16 odds offered on track.
"The owners flew up from Melbourne, rented accommodation, hired a car and got to the track three minutes before the race," Hunter said.
"They finally got there and were all excited.
"We were that rapt (when it won).
"The owners were up in the grandstand cheering, that's what it's all about. Then nothing; it's the most gut-wrenching feeling."
Hunter said the owners of each horse in the race should be compensated.
"It was an error that happened that should not have happened," he said.
"Someone has to be found at fault and all the owners of the horses should be compensated.
"Yes we did win, but maybe we wouldn't have won if they were put in the right barriers. It could have easily been a different horse that won the race.
"I feel for all the connections of the horses. Everyone loses out, not just the winner, that's what I am upset about."