Cloudy Dream team devastated after BetVictor Gold Cup entry mix-up

An error in confirming an entry has caused top chaser Cloudy Dream to miss the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday.

However, the seven-year-old could instead line up in Sunday's Shloer Chase, with connections taking advantage of the fact the Grade 2 was reopened after the initial entries stage on Monday.

Cloudy Dream was supposed to feature among the confirmed entries for the early-closing £160,000 BetVictor Gold Cup over 2m4f, but was on Monday inadvertently entered for the 3m3f Handicap Chase.

Trainer Malcolm Jefferson's daughter and assistant Ruth, who made the error, said on Tuesday: "Because the Shloer Chase reopened and I cocked up the other one, we thought we'd pop him in and have a look as he is ready to run. It's not a definite, just an option."

Reflecting on the erroneous entry, Jefferson added: "It was a mistake on my part and it's unfortunate but it's made." 


Once the mistake had been realised the Jefferson team contacted the BHA in the hope of amending the entry, but were unable to.

Jefferson's wife Sue said: "We are absolutely devastated. We checked with the BHA, but they said there was nothing they could do. Malcolm just couldn't believe it.

"But whatever we feel, it's so much worse for his owner Trevor Hemmings and we're all desperately disappointed for him."

Stuart Middleton, the BHA's racing operations manager, said: "While we have great sympathy with the Jeffersons and all connections of Cloudy Dream, there is sadly no flexibility within the rules to allow entries after the deadline when errors have been made.

"While we share in the disappointment of a good horse missing a top race, we have to consider the connections of the other horses who did enter in the correct race by the deadline.

"Allowing discretion for horses to be entered after the deadline would mean participants who have followed the correct procedure are unfairly disadvantaged.

"Should the horse who was entered after the deadline go on to win the race there might be understandable cause for concern among those who followed the correct procedure."

Should Cloudy Dream run in the Shloer Chase he could meet some rivals he would see again at the Cheltenham Festival if lining up in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase in March, for which he is a 33-1 chance.

Special Tiara and Fox Norton, who were separated by a head when meeting in the festival race last season, are entered, along with Top Gamble for Kerry Lee, and Simply Ned, as 11 entries were received on Tuesday.

Cloudy Dream was a general 12-1 chance for the BetVictor Gold Cup on Monday, and the sponsors and several other bookmakers have refunded ante-post bets.

BetVictor spokesman Jack Milner said: “It's gutting for connections to miss Saturday’s BetVictor Gold Cup. We don’t believe punters should pay the price for the mistake and have refunded all bets, some put on as early as April, for the feature of Cheltenham’s November meeting.”