Foaling Date Triggers British Jockey Club Inquiry

The 2000 Richmond Stakes (Eng-II) winner Endless Summer was technically a 3-year-old when he won the race, according to published reports confirmed by the British Jockey Club.

The Racing Post first broke the story that the Juddmonte Farms homebred was born Dec. 26, 1997, rather than Jan. 2, 1998, the foaling date registered with Weatherbys. A former employee of Prince Khalid Abdullah?s Juddmonte operation is believed to have told the Racing Post about the situation, and general manager Philip Mitchell has taken responsibility for the incident. He has offered his resignation but it hasn?t been accepted.

Endless Summer went on to be second in two group I events. It?s possible he could be disqualified and forfeit the purse money he accrued, as having been born before Jan. 1, 1998, he technically was a 3-year-old in 2000.

The mare (Well Away) was covered on Feb. 17," Mitchell told the Racing Post. I state that deliberately, because obviously by covering her on Feb. 17, when the official season starts on Feb. 14, it was our full intention to breed to Northern Hemisphere time. The mare foaled a premature foal just after Christmas, and I personally took an operating decision to register the foal on Jan. 2. I want to make it very clear that, in doing that, there was no form of deception intended on my part. I made the judgment on what I considered to be the best interests of the foal. There is a choice--to be banished to the Southern Hemisphere where he would be a very late foal, or, for the sake of three or four days, be allowed to compete in the Northern Hemisphere, which was the purpose for which he was bred.

The present ruling (on foaling years) is an extremely difficult one for these situations if, and should, they ever arise," he continued.

British Jockey Club spokesman John Maxse said Mitchell contacted the organization and told officials Endless Summer had been foaled before Jan. 1, 1998. He said Juddmonte has promised full cooperation with an inquiry.

The Rules of Racing do allow for retrospective action in the event of a horse being found to have been the subject of fraudulent practice," Maxse said. Juddmonte has said they will give the Jockey Club a written statement."

Endless Summer is still in training in Great Britain.