Any Currency's disqualification gives Cup to Ireland
Ireland yesterday claimed a belated victory in the Prestbury Cup after the disqualification of Any Currency from first place in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase was confirmed, much to the dismay of the horse's connections.
Martin Keighley's 13-year-old was found to have traces of triamcinolone acetonide (TCA) in his urine sample. This can be legitimately used for horses in training for various therapeutic purposes, but is a prohibited substance on race-days which means it must not be present in a horse's system. The ruling was made at a British Horseracing Authority (BHA) disciplinary panel hearing yesterday and the race has now been awarded to Enda Bolger's Josies Orders, the mount of Nina Carberry.
Gordon Elliott's Bless The Wings has been upgraded from third to second, with the new winner's stablemate Quantitativeeasing third.
This means that Irish trainers have now claimed the Prestbury Cup - a trophy which was first introduced in 2014 - as the scoreline from the Festival now changes from its original 14-14 to 15-13 in favour of the raiders.
No fine was imposed on Keighley, who was cleared of any wrongdoing. Any Currency had been treated with a pain-killing injection to a hock 42 days before the meeting, using a drug that has a minimum 14-day stand-down period, and Keighley and his team believed they had left plenty of time for the treatment to have cleared the horse's system.
The triumph had been a first success for Keighley at the biggest jumps meeting of the season and Any Currency was finally winning the unique test after finishing runner-up for the two previous years.
After the hearing, Keighley said: "We've been cleared of any wrongdoings and have been shown to have done nothing wrong. I am pleased that they (disciplinary panel) recognised that we have done nothing wrong. The treatment we put in was fine, we have just been unlucky.
"It is frustrating for everyone involved that we have lost the race, but we just need to move on and make sure we have more Festival winners. Any Currency is back cantering away and hopefully he will be there in March at the Festival. He just shows so much enthusiasm and he seems better than ever."
The BHA panel felt there was strict liability with the horse testing positive and therefore the horse must be disqualified and the prize-money should be allocated as per the revised result. They felt Keighley had taken all reasonable measures and that the presence of TCA in the horse after 41 days was 'exceptional' and, therefore, a fine should not be imposed.