Endless Summer Disqualified; Mitchell Penalized

Prince Khalid Abdullah's 2000 Group II Richmond Stakes winner Endless Summer was disqualified from that race at a Feb. 11 British Jockey Club hearing Feb. 11 after it was discovered the colt was technically three when winning the contest for 2-year-olds.

Philip Mitchell, who remains European general manager of Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms, was warned off all racecourses and licensed premises for a three-month period by the Jockey Club after admitting to falsifying Endless Summer's foaling date.

The colt was born Dec. 26, 1997, but Mitchell was found to have
deliberately given instructions that the foaling date be altered to Jan. 2, 1998.

The Jockey Club acknowledged Mitchell's cooperation and regret about the incident, which came into the public domain after an employment tribunal hearing. The three-month warning-off period, ending May 19, was the minimum that could be imposed. The maximum was 10 years.

A Jockey Club statement read: "Having considered the evidence, including a statement from Mr. Mitchell, who was legally represented, the (Disciplinary) Panel found him to be in breach of Rule 201 (v) in that on being informed by the stud manager on the morning of Dec. 27, 1997, that Well Away had produced a colt foal by Zafonic the previous evening, he deliberately gave instructions that the date of foaling should be falsely registered as Jan. 2, 1998, thereby ensuring that the colt would not become a yearling only five days after foaling.

"Furthermore, the Panel was satisfied that he gave these instructions with the intention that his employer would obtain some unjust advantage which his employer would not otherwise have obtained. The Panel concluded that this was a fraudulent rather than a corrupt practice under Rule 201(v).

"It accepted that Mr. Mitchell had not informed Mr. K. Abdullah, the owner of Endless Summer, until June 2004 of his actions in incorrectly registering the foal and noted Mr. Abdullah's agreement to refund all prize money won by the colt following his disqualification."

When deciding on the sentence, the Jockey Club took into consideration that Mitchell's actions were never motivated by any personal financial gain.

John Maxse, public relations director for the Jockey Club, said: "One must hope that the publicity arising from the inquiry, combined with the findings and penalty given by the Disciplinary Panel, will act as a deterrent to similar practices in the future."

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Pyrus, who stands at Ballyhane Stud in County Carlow, Ireland, finished second in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood, England, and has been promoted to be winner.

Endless Summer--who is now gelded and still racing in Britain--was also disqualified from second place in the group I Prix Morny at Deauville, France, and group I Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, England.