FAVOURITE backers in the conditionals' chase yesterday at Fakenham were heading for the pay-out desk after the last fence when the 5-4 best-backed Benny The Swinger cleared the obstacle and galloped on with what looked like a very comfort-able advantage.
Then disaster struck. Rather than go to the left of a fence almost alongside the winning post, the favourite's rider, Brendan Powell Jr aimed his mount to the right and jumped the obstacle.
The jockey's bout of silliness earned him a 14-day ban. Powell Jr appeared to realise his error approaching the fence but it was all too late. In the race proper, Peak Seasons – a winner at Leicester on Monday – rattled home to put his head in front of Roc De Guye right on the line and claim the spoils.
Speaking from Folkestone, Chris Gordon, Benny The Swinger's trainer, said: "It's just one of those things that happens at Fakenham far too often. If only they dolled it off on the final circuit, so jockeys can't make a mistake.
"It's such a tight circuit. I'm not going to shout at the boy, I'll let his father [Brendan Powell Sr] give him a bit of a rollicking.
"Brendan himself will be absolutely gutted about it, I'm gutted because I had a little bit on and the owner is gutted. It's very upsetting but it's one of those things that's happened at Fakenham so many times.
"I think the track [owners] ought to try and do something so they can't go on the chase course."
In today's action, the hope is Private Equity can make sure the sponsors keep their own cash by landing the Highflyer Bloodstock Chase at Warwick. The Million In Mind Partnership is run by Anthony Bromley and David Minton, of Highflyer, and they have managed to win their race on a couple of occasions.
Private Equity will be making his British bow but he has shown some smart form in France, winning once on the level and once over hurdles.
Later, Pearl Mix appears to be the one to beat in the Betdaq Mobile Apps Hyde Stakes at Kempton.
* A verdict on any suspension for Frankie Dettori, left, after he tested positive for a banned substance in France will not be disclosed for some time. The jockey did not appear before the medical committee of the French racing authority, France Galop, in Paris, but spoke via a conference call.
The committee will make their findings known to France Galop and it is understood the stewards will meet in two weeks to discuss it.
Christopher Stewart-Moore, Dettori's legal representative, was at the hearing and confirmed no decision had been announced. He said: "A hearing was held in Paris, at which Frankie Dettori and his legal advisers made representations. The medical committee will announce their decision shortly."
France Galop media manager Julien Pescatore underlined the authority's policy of issuing no statement until the matter is resolved. He said: "The medical committee will give their decision to the jockey and as long as he has not received it, France Galop will not communicate anything.
It has been widely reported that Dettori failed the test due to the presence of cocaine.However, Pescatore says France Galop will not confirm the banned substance involved.
Dettori, who was cautioned by police for possession of cocaine in 1993, had four rides at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe trials meeting on September 16, after which the sample was returned.