Nicky Henderson must appear before the British Horseracing Authority’s disciplinary committee next month after a horse belonging to the Queen failed a dope test. After his best season, it will come as a major embarrassment to the English trainer.
The horse, Moonlit Path, finished sixth at 16/1 on her racecourse debut at Huntingdon in February. The Queen’s mare has tested positive to the presence of tranexamic acid, a prohibited substance. The drug is a permitted race-day medication in some states in America to prevent horses breaking blood vessels.
Henderson has been charged with a breach of Rule 53 and Rule 200 in that he ‘allowed or caused to be administered, or connived at the administration of transexamic acid with the intention of affecting her race-day performance.’
Henderson said: “Unfortunately Moonlit Path tested positive for a prohibited substance. The substance concerned was administered by my vet entirely in the interests of the horse’s welfare, which is always paramount.
“There was no intention to enhance performance and it is worth pointing out that we won the race in question with the odds-on Ravello Bay.”
Meanwhile, Richard Hughes and Desert Auction spoiled an opportunity for Star Rover to complete a remarkable double at Goodwood yesterday.
The David Evans-trained Star Rover won the Lily Agnes at Chester just over 24 hours before he made the trip 240 miles south for the four-runner conditions stakes. But Desert Auction won from Grand Zafeen.