'So confused': Extraordinary optical illusion baffles horse racing world

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

A bizarre optical illusion has completely confounded the horse racing world, with stewards initially announcing the wrong winner.

The drama took place in the Matchbook Novice Stakes at Kempton in the UK recently, when Albadr and Loving Glance had to be separated by a photo finish.

However the photo caused mass confusion and appeared to show Loving Glance (far horse with orange jockey silks) narrowly edge Albadr (blue silks in front).

Loving Glance (far horse) looked to have won. Image: RaceTech

Stewards announced Loving Glance as the winner, but were forced to overturn the result when it emerged they’d been tricked.

What looks like the heads of both horses side by side is actually just Albadr’s head.

The black line that looks like it’s dividing Albadr’s head from Loving Glance’s head actually appears to be a strap across Albadr’s face.

Albadr (red outline) was the actual winner. Image: Shane Quinn/Twitter

British Horseracing authority responds

The British Horseracing Authority said: “An incorrect provisional result was initially announced in the 3pm at Kempton, announcing Loving Glance as the winner following a photo finish.

“Shortly after the provisional result was announced, the error was picked up by the chief steward through verification procedures … the result was then corrected to announce Albadr as the winner.

“The official result was announced prior to the ‘weighed in’ signal, which is the point at which the result becomes official.

“We will now take steps to assess the cause of the incorrect provisional result.”

The mass confusion meant a number of bookmakers paid out both horses as the winner.