False start drama in Newcastle finale

Klopp claimed a controversial victory in the closing Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap at Newcastle on Saturday.

The 11-4 shot was an easy victor for trainer Anthony Brittain and jockey Harry Russell in a race that was decimated by seven withdrawals following a false start.

A total of 13 runners were set to contest the five-furlong event and all the horses but Klopp were in the stalls when the gates opened, leaving Russell’s mount behind.

The starter immediately waved the recall flag, but a number of riders struggled to pull up their mounts and connections of seven runners opted to withdraw their horses from the restart.

That left just six to contest the race, with all but Klopp having run at least part of the distance, and the market leader duly prevailed by three and a quarter lengths.

A stewards report stated: “An inquiry was held into the circumstances surrounding the false start of this race.

“The starters, the starting stalls team leader, the clerk of the course, the advanced flag operator and all riders were interviewed and shown recordings.

“Having heard their evidence, the stewards ordered a report to be forwarded to the head office of the British Horseracing Authority.”

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