Feature race at Epsom voided as jockeys complete course after false start

Derby Day at Epsom. Pic: Courtesy of Jockey Club Racecourses.

Derby Day at Epsom. Pic: Courtesy of Jockey Club Racecourses.

By Simon Jackson at Epsom.

The £25,000 feature race at Epsom on Monday was voided after none of the eight jockeys realised that a false start had been called and completed the five furlong contest.

The starter signalled the false start after 16-1 shot Taurus Twins, ridden by Kieran O’Neill, anticipated the start and broke through the gates in the Class 2 Supporting The Sport You Love Handicap.

The official raised his flag as a signal that the riders should be called back. But none of the jockeys appeared to see the flag man further down the track, who had stepped back before raising his flag.

“Once the starter had satisfied himself that Taurus Twins had lunged forward and broken the gates, he then immediately raised his false start flag, signalling to the advanced flag operator to do the same,” the BHA’s director of raceday operations and regulation, Jamie Stier, said to At The Races.

“The advanced flag operator then stepped three or four steps to his right, prior to raising his flag. He did raise his flag, so the recall flag has been raised.

“It’s academic. The rules are very clear. The race must be void in those circumstances.

“Subsequently, the stewards held an inquiry into the riders’ actions continuing on in the race and they ultimately decided no penalties will be issued in the circumstances of this case.

“In arriving at that decision they listened to the riders and given it’s a straight five-furlong race, they went to the outside rail, so they were focussed on that, and the advanced flag operator went to the inside. They say in the rain he [flag man] was out of their vision.

“Equally importantly the operating procedures say the advanced flag operator must blow his whistle at the same time as raising his flag and that didn’t occur on this occasion.”

Humidor was the first to cross the line. Come On Dave was second and Taurus Twins third.

Epsom are racing again today (Tuesday), where they host a six race card with the first race scheduled for 2.15pm.

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