Context: 6 horses were racing.The six horses were so close together that a carpet could have covered them, but half way up the yellow of the Mapleton stable showed to the front. Before they reached us, however, Desborough’s bolt was shot, and the Colonel’s horse, coming away with a rush, passed the post a good six lengths before its rival, the Duke of Balmoral’s Iris making a bad third.
“It’s my race, anyhow,” gasped the Colonel, passing his hand over his eyes.
I don't get their finishing order. So of the 6 horses, Desborough first got the lead, but then it got tired and lagged behind (Desborough’s bolt was shot). Then the Colonel’s horse took the lead (coming away with a rush), followed closely by Iris (the rival). The Colonel’s horse finished right before Iris, and Iris got 3rd place.
That doesn't make any sense. If the Colonel’s horse finish just before Iris, shouldn't Iris be 2nd? If Iris truly finished 3rd, then wouldn't the Colonel’s horse have finished 2nd? Why does the Colonel himself make it sounds like he won the race? If the Colonel’s horse did finish 1st, and Iris 3rd, then how come it's described as the rival to the Colonel’s horse? SHouldn't it be the one that came 2nd?
Source: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle