There was a stewards’ inquiry in the Trevor Hemmings horse racing operation after one of his star horses, Cloudy Dream, was entered in the wrong race at Cheltenham on Saturday.
The seven-year-old grey, who carries the colours of the Preston North End owner, should have been declared for the £160,000 BetVictor Gold Cup, but was entered in error for the much longer Betvictor.com Handicap Chase, which carries considerably less prize money and is over a distance too far for Cloudy Dream.
The horse is trained in Yorkshire by Malcolm Jefferson, who has not been in the best of health recently.
His wife Sue said: “We are absolutely devastated. Since Malcolm became ill, our daughter Ruth has done the entries and she has done a fine job.
“But she must have clicked on the wrong race, so instead of confirming the entry for the Gold Cup as she intended, she entered him in the other race.
“But whatever we feel, it’s so much worse for his owner Trevor Hemmings and we’re all desperately disappointed for him.”
Cloudy Dream, a classy Grade Two winner, had been quoted by the sponsors at 12-1 for the BetVictor Gold Cup – several bookmakers have now decided to refund all ante-post bets on the gelding.
Cloudy Dream could still run at Cheltenham, after all – he has now been entered for the Shloer Chase at the track on Sunday.
Mick Meagher, racing manager to owner Hemmings, said of the error over the entry: “It’s human error. It will happen again, but we’ll kick on.
“We’ll make a decision on whether he runs later in the week, but that is where we are at.”
Meanwhile, Hemmings’ Scottish Grand National winner Vincente holds an entry in the Betvictor.com Handicap Chase, run over an extended three miles, three furlongs.