Sport Horse Racing

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Seventh horse in Britain tests positive for morphine

Ryan Moore riding Estimate
Ryan Moore riding Estimate

Tony Carroll admitted his surprise at discovering one of his horses had been caught up in the morphine case, in which seven horses have now tested positive for the banned substance.

The first the Worcestershire trainer knew of the situation was when the British Horseracing Authority informed him that Ocean Legend had tested positive for the drug after winning at Brighton on June 24.

That was the second of three victories the nine-year-old notched within a four-week period and he was tested after each success. The other two samples were clear.

The source of the drug is thought to be a batch of contaminated feed, with supplier Dodson & Horrell already undertaking a full investigation into the case.

"It was news to us and quite a surprise for it come up," said Carroll.

"It's not something you'd associate with anything like that and we were made aware of it by the BHA.

"It's just on of those things and I'm sure it will be sorted out. I don't know enough about it to comment on it.

"I'm sure it's just something that's gone through the food chain. Obviously a lot of trainers have had it and that's how it is."

Gay Kelleway also revealed she had a horse test positive for morphine, adding to fellow trainers Sir Michael Stoute, Eve Johnson Houghton and Charlie Hills to have been caught up in the current spate of positive tests for the drug.

The BHA confirmed on Thursday evening that a seventh horse has now tested positive for the drug.

A BHA statement read: "The British Horseracing Authority has been notified by LGC analytical laboratory (formerly HFL Sport Science) that a two further post-race samples obtained from recent race meetings have been found, upon analysis of the 'A' samples, to have present in them morphine, a prohibited substance on raceday under the rules.

"The two horses are in the care of two separate trainers. BHA have received certificates of analysis reporting the findings and the trainers involved have been informed.

"As a result, in total seven horses under the care of various trainers have so far been reported to show the presence of morphine in their 'A' samples.

"It remains the case that BHA will not make public any information regarding the identity of the horses, trainers or owners, the races they competed in or the dates on which the samples were taken until all necessary processes - including counter analysis of respective 'B' samples requested by those connected with the horses, and its own investigations - are completed.

"Owing to the shared characteristics of these cases it is not possible to rule out the reporting of further positive detections from post-race samples obtained in recent weeks.

"BHA are continuing to investigate any link between the individual cases and are working closely with the British Equine Trade Association (BETA), the National Trainers Federation (NTF) and the trainers of the horses in question on this matter.

"Once all processes have been completed the cases will be put before the disciplinary panel who will consider the matters before deciding what action, if any, should be taken.

"This may include the disqualification of the horses in question from the relevant races."

It was confirmed earlier in the week the Stoute-trained Estimate, who is owned by The Queen, was one of those to have tested positive after finishing second in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

Stablemate Russian Realm to have shown traces of the drug following his unplaced Ascot run, although Stoute will wait for the results of his inmates' 'B' samples before making any further comment.

In a statement, the Newmarket trainer said: "We have another horse in the yard to have tested positive for morphine, which is Russian Realm, who was unplaced in the Buckingham Palace Stakes.

"We will be making no further comment on either him or Estimate until we have seen the other set of test results."

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