Aidan O'Brien Fined for Fillies' Mile Saddling Error

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Aidan O'Brien | Emma Berry

Following a BHA inquiry into a saddling error that occurred prior to the running of the G1 Fillies' Mile, trainer Aidan O'Brien has been fined £4,000. His two fillies, Mother Earth (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}) and Snowfall (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), apparently ran eighth and third in the event, but O'Brien quickly alerted the British Horseracing Authority that in fact the horses had swapped saddle towels and jockeys. The BHA amended the result with Mother Earth and Snowfall correctly placed third and eighth, respectively. O'Brien was not present at Newmarket the day of the race due to traveling restrictions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since the incident at Newmarket, additional ID checks have been in place at major Flat fixtures to minimize the risk of a reoccurrence,” said a BHA spokesperson. “A longer-term piece of work has been ongoing since October to look at the additional resource, technology and funding required to implement a further ID check once horses are saddled.

“It is particularly challenging in the current environment due to the additional resourcing requirements that the BHA's Covid-19 protocols already place upon staffing levels, but additional checks are being carried out on a discretionary basis.

“We will continue the work looking at the feasibility of implementing an additional check following saddling permanently and communicate any changes to participants and the public as necessary.”

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