Filly turns out to be a colt in maiden mix-up

Mark Johnston: trainer of Morning Suit, the subject of the racecard error

Mark Johnston: trainer of Morning Suit, the subject of the racecard error

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

IT WAS a case of a he listed as a she in the racecard at Doncaster on Saturday evening as two-year-old debutant Morning Suit was found to be in possession of an undeclared piece of equipment.

Mark Johnston’s colt was labelled a filly until the error was spotted – direct observation proving reliable in instances like this – at the course.

The juvenile was then given the colt’s weight allowance, meaning he carried 5lb more than advertised in a bizzare administrative blunder by Weatherbys.

Ironically, the grey/roan son of Street Boss was seemingly aware of the mistake, displaying coltish signs in the preliminaries to prove a point, much to the amusement of onlookers, before running a nice race on his first visit to a racecourse to finish fifth, beaten four lengths by the David O’Meara-trained Hoyamy.

Johnston said: “As far as we’re concerned he has always been a colt! His passport states he is a colt and all the information sent over to Weatherbys indicates that fact – it was a bizzare error really though no one is at fault our end.”

BHA spokesman Robin Mounsey said: “The fact that Morning Suit was a colt rather than a filly was picked up on by the vet in the morning when the horse arrived at the course, and media outlets were informed in order that online racecards could be amended.

“We’ll be working with Weatherbys this week to determine what caused the issue.”

Other instances

The racecard gaffe may seem unique, though it did spark memories of two similar incidents in November.

David Brown bought ‘gelding’ Ginger Joe following a Southwell seller for 9,500gns, only to discover otherwise.

Brown realised he had not quite bought what he had bargained for when Ginger Joe was subsequently examined and found to be a rig – a male horse carrying either one or two testicles concealed in his abdomen, making him appear to be a gelding.

Due to the terms of a seller, where winners are “sold as seen”, Brown had no rights to return the now three-year-old, who has finished third for new connections on both starts since.

That incident followed a similar abnormal event at Redcar earlier in the month when Jim Best claimed ‘colt’ Sammy’s Warrior at Redcar, who was eventually found to be a gelding.

Consequently, as the incident occurred following a claimer, former trainer Marco Botti took Sammy’s Warrior back and covered the costs involved, as well as paying a £200 fine.


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