Stewards look into Saint improvement
Last Updated: 03/09/14 4:11pm
Saint Helena will be sent for a routine test after a jockey-switch saw AP McCoy win aboard the previously unplaced mare at Southwell.
The Southwell stewards looked into the improved performance of Jim Best's horse after she won the 32Red Casino Handicap Hurdle at the track under McCoy on Wednesday.
The six-year-old mare had been beaten a combined total of 227 lengths on her previous three starts, but was backed in from 6/1 to 15/8 prior to the withdrawal of stablemate Into The Wind, originally scheduled to be ridden by McCoy.
The 19-times champion jockey switched to Saint Helena once Into The Wind was declared a non-runner at 11.32 due to the going (Good, Good to Firm in places).
The horse in question was eventually sent off the 11/10 favourite and was held up in the early stages by McCoy, before making good headway and keeping on well for a one-length success from Operateur.
The official enquiry into Saint Helena's improved performance concluded: "The Stewards held an enquiry to consider the apparent improvement in form of the winner, SAINT HELENA (IRE), ridden by A P McCoy and trained by Jim Best, which had never previously been placed.
"They interviewed the trainer who stated that the mare, who had been a very buzzy type in the past, settled better today and had benefited from a break of one hundred and twenty-five days since her last run.
"He added that the mare was suited by the firmer ground on this occasion. Having heard his evidence they forwarded his explanation to the British Horseracing Authority so that the previous performances of SAINT HELENA (IRE) could be reviewed.
"The Stewards ordered the mare to be routine tested."