The Great Fox (outside horse) and Victory Toast (inside) finish at Yeppoon on July 23.
The Great Fox (outside horse) and Victory Toast (inside) finish at Yeppoon on July 23.

Great Fox connections to be fully compensated

THE connections of a horse stripped of a Yeppoon win after a photo finish bungle will be fully compensated.

Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett announced on Friday that a special payment would be made to the connections of Great Fox which was wrongly awarded a race victory on July 23 and this week had the result overturned following a stewards’ inquiry.

On Tuesday QRIC chief steward Peter Chadwick and deputy Daniel Aurisch were in Rockhampton to inquire into the circumstances of the Tim Cook trained Great Fox being declared the winner of the QTIS 3YO Handicap.

The official winning margin was 0.1 lengths over the Tom Button trained Victory Toast.

Justin Stanley, the rider of Victory Toast, asked to view the photo finish on the day and challenged stewards when they were satisfied with the decision of the judge, but correct weight was declared.

Amazingly, a new photo was produced at Tuesday’s hearing that was not present on race day and stewards stripped Great Fox of the win and elevated the second-placed Victory Toast.

QRIC yesterday confirmed that first prize money would still be distributed to the connections (owners, trainer and jockey) of Great Fox as a special payment.

Earlier this week it was reported that the owners were considering legal action over the matter.

“In recognition that these circumstances could leave the connections of Great Fox financially disadvantaged through no fault of their own, I will make a payment to make up the difference between first and second place prize money,” Mr Barnett said on Friday.