Forest Ranger, the gelding who started the day a colt, proves a cut above
Forest Ranger started the day as a colt but won Wednesday's Earl of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket as a gelding after a pre-race inspection by the veterinary officer revealed something was most definitely amiss.
Richard Fahey's four-year-old was listed incorrectly as a colt in racecards but had in fact undergone a recent gelding operation which the trainer had failed to report.
Nevertheless, it appeared to have a beneficial effect as he scored on his seasonal reappearance for the third time in a row in the 1m1f Group 3 under Tony Hamilton.
Racing prominently behind the keen Frankuus, Hamilton unleashed Forest Ranger with just over two furlongs to go and, after a protracted duel with the Aidan O'Brien-trained Deauville, he stuck his nosebanded head in front to take the prize by half a length.
Sent off at 8-1, the big son of Lawman always looked likely to deny the Ryan Moore-ridden favourite and the first two came clear of Euginio, who stuck on well to take third.
R3 @NewmarketRace: The Veterinary Officer reported that upon inspection, FOREST RANGER (IRE) was a gelding and not a colt as published in the racecard— BHA Stewards (@BHAStewards) April 18, 2018
On the failure to report the gelding operation, Fahey, who was winning the Earl of Sefton for the first time, said: "I only discovered the girls in the office hadn't declared he was a gelding this morning, but we now have the money to pay the fine if there is one."
There is indeed likely to be a fine, with BHA spokesman Robin Mounsey confirming: "It is the trainer's responsibility to inform Weatherbys about the change and in such circumstances this will go through a disciplinary panel and, generally, the penalty is a fine."
On future plans for Forest Ranger, Fahey added: "We took him for an awayday gallop the other day and it's obviously done the business. I don't know where we'll go now as I expected him to need the run, but I would have to think of races like the Eclipse after that."