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Queen's racehorse Estimate tests positive for drugs

By Colin Francis

A racehorse owned by the Queen has tested positive for morphine, a prohibited substance, Buckingham Palace announced yesterday.

Estimate, which won the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in 2013 and came second in the same race this year, is a five-year-old filly trained by Sir Michael Stoute.

Initial indications are that the positive test resulted from the consumption of a contaminated feed product, the Queen's racing adviser said. The Queen, who cheered the horse on to success at Royal Ascot last year, has been informed of the development.

Although morphine is not prohibited during training, it is banned on race days.

A statement by John Warren, the Queen's Bloodstock and Racing Advisor, said: "On Thursday July 17 the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced that a number of post-race samples, obtained from recent race meetings, had been found to indicate the presence of morphine, which is a prohibited substance on race days. Five horses, under the care of various trainers, were affected."

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