Two sets of jockeys and their horses disappear into a hedge during crazy last-fence scenes in Hexham.
The punters couldn’t believe it as 7-2 shot Fete Champetre, who was challenging for the lead, struck the right blow, bringing 7-1 Hasanaki with him.
The jockeys and their horses climbed into the hedge and disappeared completely out of sight.
And it wasn’t until a few seconds later that they re-emerged, thankfully all unwell and well.
Sean Quinlan was the main beneficiary of his freak event at 3-1 Crack du Ninion, galloping to victory in the 1m 7½f novice handicap chase.
Craig Nicholl on the Rose Dobbins-trained Fte Champetre and Lewis Dobb on Laura Morgan’s Hasanki were unlucky who were sent off to crash into the hedge.
Punters were stunned by what happened – and relieved to hear that no one was injured.
One simply commented: “What the f***?”
Another wrote: “This way you can hedge your bets.”
A fellow punter posted online: “Now you see them…now you don’t.”
While another said: “Hey, they were sent to the shadow zone!”
A fellow punter commented: “WTF! Unreal.”
While another wrote: “Has anyone seen Fete Champetre or Hasanki? Did they even exist in the first place? The first existential racehorse.”
The bizarre scenes came on a crazy day of racing – in which the ‘winner’ of a race was also disqualified after 34 minutes of stewards’ questioning.
Chris Gordon’s 8-1 Unanswered Prayers looked on course for victory, before Nikki Henderson’s 3-1 Blue Stello took home after the final hurdle at Warwick.
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Paul Nicholls’ 2-1 shot in the middle of that pair was completely unknown.
The tight finish went directly to the stewards to determine in detail who was the winner and whether any interference changed the result.
Initially, Unanswered Prayers, in orange silk with black stars, were named first near the post.
But after more than half an hour – and at the cost of the next race starting on time – the unanswered prayers were disqualified and Blue Stello named the winner with a complete unknown in third.
A statement read: “Following the interrogation of a steward, unanswered prayers, those who passed the first position were disqualified and placed second.
“Blue Stello awarded the race.”
Luckily some firms pay the first past the post and the official winner.
But those betting on the Hexham contest had no such luck.
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