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News stories which have appeared on the website are available free of charge but stories which have appeared in the newspaper are only available when you join Members' Club. *NOTE: The archive runs from January 1, 2006 to present

Dead-heat

The photo finish that ended up costing judge Dave Smith his job

  PICTURE: RaceTech  

BHA sack judge Smith after Kempton blunder

DAVE SMITH, the judge at the centre of last Wednesday's controversial Kempton dead-heat verdict, which was later overruled, has had his contract terminated with immediate effect by the BHA.

On Monday the BHA amended the result of the 7f two-year-old maiden which Smith had called as a dead-heat between 16-1 Fire Fighting and even-money favourite Extra Noble, with a nose verdict in favour of Extra Noble.

The swiftly-called result - which took less than a minute to announce - was questioned on social media and racing forums and, after the BHA examined a high-resolution print of the finish, Smith agreed to change the result, triggering an internal investigation.

The end product of that came with Smith being relieved of his duties following a meeting with the personnel department at the BHA's London offices on Tuesday.

Dave Smith

Dave Smith: known for quick calls

  PICTURE: Steve Nash  

A statement from the BHA said: "Following an internal investigation regarding the announcement of the incorrect result in the £200 Free Bets At Betdaq Maiden Stakes at Kempton on Wednesday June 26, 2013, the BHA has established that standard operating procedures were not followed, and has today informed Dave Smith that it has terminated its contract of services with him."

It is not the first time that Smith, who is known for calling quick decisions to close finishes, has been too hasty when announcing a result.

In October 2011 he had to admit an error when hastily calling Vimiero the winner at Windsor before almost instantly reversing the decision and announcing Discoteca the short-head winner.

The BHA added: "Dave Smith will no longer act as a judge at British racecourses, but the BHA acknowledges his contribution and service over the last 13 years."

Smith on Tuesday night said he was "shocked" at the BHA's decision and added: "After the service I have given the BHA I'm gutted to be treated this way. I'm waiting to hear from the BHA about whether I can appeal or not. I'm not sure what to do."

Bookmakers William Hill, Paddy Power and Stan James have agreed to pay out on Extra Noble as a goodwill gesture.

 
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