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Indeed a one-horse, crazy race

CHAOS reigned, or perhaps reined, in a New Zealand horse race yesterday when five of the six starters fell and one jockey started on one horse and finished on another.

Stewards took more than 30 minutes to unravel bizarre events surrounding the maiden steeplechase at the Canterbury Jockey Club's meeting in Wellington and to declare Nana the winner by an extraordinary 128 lengths.

Nana was the only horse to complete the course without falling and by jumping every fence. Five horses fell, two jockeys broke collarbones and one horse was treated for stress.

What's His Name was running fifth in the home straight but finished second when three horses fell at the last fence: Mala Strana and About Time were vying for second when they both crashed and Son of the Oak inherited second place until it also went down at the last.

About Time's jockey remounted his horse and finished third.

Jockey George Strickland, who had started the race on Mala Strana, remounted Ice Pack which had fallen earlier in the race and claimed fourth place but was disqualified.

"That was a bit weird," steward Stewart Ching said of Strickland's swap. "We are not sure why that happened. It added to the confusion."

"It was one of the more bizarre races I have to deal with."


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