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Two ground staff at a race meeting in England have narrowly avoided a serious accident after mistaking the length of a race.

Jockeys Oisin Murphy and Royston Ffrench took evasive action after seeing the two on the track at the top of the home straight.

The pair mistakenly thought the staying race race was a sprint and went on to the track to repair divots.

Both Ffrench on Snowy Dawn, and Murphy on eventual winner Havisham, were forced to swerve around the pair.

“They understood the race to be over five furlongs, not over two miles. It was simply a case of human error,” a racecourse spokeswoman said.

“Because they were out in the cold and the wind with their hoods up, it was perfectly possible they didn’t hear the commentary and the first time they would have seen or heard the horses would have been when they came back round again.”

 
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