Carson is repentant


WILLIE CARSON yesterday issued an apology to punters after his embarrassing blunder brought about the downfall of a heavily-backed favourite. He threw away a race he should have won when easing down in the final strides on Kamari and being caught on the line by Major Dundee in the last race at Lingfield on Saturday night.

The colt, owned by Hamdan Al-Maktoum and trained by Alec Stewart, had been the subject of several four-figure wagers and was sent off 4 to 5 for the F T Everard and Sons Maiden.

"I'm very, very sorry for the mistake to the people associated with the horse and to all the punters who backed him," said Carson. "I have to hold up my hands it was a terrible thing to do and I hope I shall never do it again."

The 53-year-old former champion, in action at Ripon yesterday, was always travelling smoothly on Kamari and, had been trying to win without giving the horse a hard race.

He realised too late that Major Dundee, ridden by Dane O'Neill, was finishing strongly against the rails and, despite shaking up Kamari, was touched off on the line.

"It was just one of those things. I was trying to win easily but the wind was quite strong and I didn't hear the other horse coming," he said. "I thought I was against the rails and didn't realise there was room for a horse to come up my inside.

"I looked round the other way and saw that the other horse was three lengths away and thought that I could take things easily. I was shocked when a horse came past me on the inside.

"This has hit me very hard - it's one worst things to have happened to me in my career. I can't argue about the seven-day ban - it's fully deserved.

Double Eclipse is fast becoming a big favourite at Longchamp after landing his second successive group race victory at the Paris track yesterday.

But it will be Ascot rather than Longchamp as a next step for the improving Jason Weaver-ridden stayer after Double Eclipse had made every yard of the running to fend off Nononito by three-quarters of a length in the Group Two Prix Vicomtesse Vigier.

Andre Fabre's Luna Wells strengthened her Oaks claims when easily beating stable companion Miss Tahiti by a length and a half in the Group One Prix St-Alary.

Ian Balding's Bran don Magic (Kevin Darley) took up a prominent position only to fade at the business end of the race and finish a 10 1/4-length fifth to Lavireo in the German 2000 Guineas in Cologne