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Queen's horse ruled out but trainer not to blame

By Martin Kelly

The Queen's racing advisor John Warren welcomed a "thorough and fair investigation" from the British Horseracing Authority after Her Majesty's horse Estimate was disqualified from second place in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot following a disciplinary hearing in London yesterday.

A post-race sample containing morphine and oripavine had been produced by Estimate, although trainer Sir Michael Stoute did not face a penalty as the source of the positive test was found to be contaminated feed, with the BHA satisfied all reasonable precautions had been taken to avoid any breach of the rules.

Despite that, the rules state that horses producing a positive sample for a prohibited substance should be disqualified from relevant races.

Stoute's Russian Realm was ninth in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at the Royal fixture and was another to be disqualified.

Four other trainers – Barry Hills, Charlie Hills, Gay Kelleway and Tony Carroll – also had horses disqualified, all in the same circumstances as Stoute.

As with Stoute, the horses were disqualified but no penalties were imposed on the trainers.

Warren said in a statement: "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 Rules."

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