British racing chiefs have vowed to review procedures after the sport was hit by a second case of mistaken identity in the space of six months.
Two of trainer Ivan Furtado’s horses ran in the wrong races at the Southwell meeting on 14 January.
The mistake was not noticed at the time, despite all horses now being micro-chipped, and only emerged via an audit process because one of them had been randomly selected for a drug test.
Scribner Creek finished third in a seven-furlong race, earning punters who believed they had backed stablemate African Trader an each-way return. African Trader was seventh in the following race, for which Scribner Creek had been entered.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) said there had been no suspicious betting activity and that it was satisfied that it had been an honest mistake. Furtado faces a disciplinary hearing.
The mix-up followed a similar controversy at Yarmouth in July, which resulted in a £1,500 fine for trainer Charlie McBride.
“This is the second time in six months where there has been an incident in which an incorrect horse has competed in a race. This is simply unacceptable,” said the BHA.
“The priority now is to ensure the BHA takes whatever steps are appropriate and necessary to ensure that this issue does not occur again.”