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Royal race aide accepts drug ruling

The Queen's bloodstock and racing adviser has said "we totally accept in full" the findings of a disciplinary panel which has stripped the monarch's horse Estimate of its Gold Cup second place following a positive drugs test.

John Warren said he was grateful for the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) investigation which concluded that the post-race sample containing the prohibited substance morphine was due to a contaminated batch of feed.

T he Queen's trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, will not face a financial penalty b ut the rules of racing state that horses producing a positive sample for a prohibited substance should be disqualified from the relevant races.

The BHA's disciplinary panel met in London and heard a number of cases involving horses that had tested positive for morphine.

Mr Warren said in a statement: "Following today's meeting of the Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), we totally accept in full the Panel's findings.

"We are grateful to the BHA for its thorough and fair investigation, which concluded that the positive samples from seven horses, including Estimate, were the result of a contaminated batch of feed from an independent supplier.

"We also welcome the BHA's recognition that the five respective trainers, who include Sir Michael Stoute, took all reasonable precautions to avoid breaching the Rules of Racing; and that the accidental administration of a prohibited substance was in no way the fault of those connected to the horses.

"Since the positive test on 19th June, Sir Michael has worked with the BHA and other relevant bodies to establish the facts.

"The BHA undertakes a vital role in safeguarding the integrity of British horseracing and as such, it is entirely right that its Rules are applied fully, fairly and consistently."

Estimate was defending the Gold Cup title it won at Royal Ascot last year and was narrowly beaten in a thrilling race by Leading Light.

The Gold Cup win had made sporting history for the Queen as she became the first reigning monarch to own a winner of the coveted race.

Another horse trained by Sir Michael also tested positive for morphine after running, like Estimate, at Royal Ascot this summer and was disqualified from its ninth place in the Buckingham Palace Stakes.

Tweeting about the thoroughbreds trained by Sir Michael, the BHA said: ''The horses have been disqualified from the races in question. No financial penalty has been imposed upon the trainer.''


From Belfast Telegraph