The flag is raised at Sligo and they’re off and running . . . four minutes early!

Noel Meade’s Caer awarded opening race after stewards use discretionary powers

Confusion reigned following the opening mares’ maiden hurdle at Sligo on Tuesday evening after the race was allowed to go off four minutes early.

Caer was first past the post in the extended two-mile-one-furlong heat, but connections faced an anxious wait as the stewards inquired into the circumstances of the early start.

While the stewards found the race had started before the appointed time, they decided to use their discretionary powers to allow the result to stand.

Winning trainer Noel Meade was pleased to have the victory confirmed, adding: “I remember winning a race in Leopardstown with a horse about 40 years ago and Major Tyrell was the starter and he started five minutes early.


“I hadn’t had a winner for a few months and lost the race, as it was null and void.”