Leading bookmaker Hollywoodbets will refund patrons in South Africa and the UK as a gesture of goodwill after a dramatic incident at the start of the Kensington Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.
Hollywoodbets customers who backed Godolphin runner Stunning Beauty in the seventh race will have their accounts credited this morning, after race stewards declared her a runner.
This was despite the fact that jockey Silvestre de Sousa was unable to remove the hood from his mount before the gates opened.
The www.racingpost.co.za reports that De Sousa’s annoyance was matched by punters and bookmakers who were forced to wait for over 30 minutes after the final race had finished to determine whether Stunning Beauty would be deemed a runner or whether bets would be refunded.
The former champion jockey immediately pulled up the 7-1 shot once they had finally exited stall three, having been left trailing by the others as they jumped out after De Sousa unsuccessfully fought to remove the blindfold.
De Sousa was clearly annoyed at what he felt was over-eagerness from the starter to get the race underway, and said: “The hood didn’t come off so I couldn’t race. He could have waited two more seconds for me to get it off, but he wouldn’t wait and opened the stalls before I could take the hood off. I was shouting, there was a lot of talking going on in there, and they could have waited for me. They just didn’t wait.”
It is understood the starter told the subsequent inquiry that he heard no calls to wait from jockeys.
The concluding race of day two was won by Lola Showgirl, ridden by Laura Pearson.
For more, please visit blog.hollywoodbets.net
- Day 3 of Royal Ascot continues today at 15h30.