x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

More Godolphin horses of Al Zarooni test positive for anabolic steroids

British Horseracing Authority confirm results include St Leger winner Encke but Saeed bin Suroor’s horses, slated to take over from banned Al Zarooni, tested negative and clean.

Mickael Barzalona and Encke won The St Leger Stakes at Doncaster in September.
Mickael Barzalona and Encke won The St Leger Stakes at Doncaster in September.

London // Seven more horses formerly under the care of shamed UAE trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni at Moulton Paddocks have tested positive for anabolic steroids.

The British Horseracing Authority yesterday said that Encke, last year’s surprise English St Leger winner, was among the latest group of horses that returned a positive sample for stanzolol, a substance that is prohibited under the rules of racing in Britain, but not in the UAE.

Energizer, a winner at Royal Ascot last season before joining Godolphin, also tested positive alongside Steeler, who was recruited from Mark Johnston’s feeder yard and was being aimed at the English Derby.

All seven may not resume racing until October 29. The BHA took blood samples from 391 Godolphin horses in Newmarket following the inquiry last month into the admitted administration of steroids to 15 horses by Al Zarooni.

Al Zarooni was banned for eight years after 11 horses in his care tested positive for steroids. He admitted to being responsible for administering steroids to four further horses. They did not include any of the seven flagged yesterday by the BHA, who are continuing an investigation into how the latest horses received the drugs.

Vets representing the regulatory body visited both Moulton Paddocks, Al Zarooni’s former base in the UK, and Saeed bin Suroor’s Godolphin Stables facility. Both are owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

All of Bin Suroor’s horses returned clean tests and the BHA are to issue the veteran handler a licence to take over Moulton Paddocks, after which clean horses from that stable can run following a 14-day period.

It is a further fillip for Bin Suroor, who won with Farhh in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday. Tawhid finished third in the German 2,000 Guineas yesterday behind Peace At Last.

“These test results endorse the swift action and measures taken by the BHA in this matter,” Paul Bittar, the BHA’s chief executive, said.  Whatever the outcome of his appeal before the independent Appeal Board, the gravity and scale of the infringements warranted Mahmoud Al Zarooni being removed from control of the yard as quickly as possible.

“We welcome the news that Saeed bin Suroor’s horses tested negative, and this clears the way for him to now take charge of Moulton Paddocks.”

The former Godolphin trainer is appealing and will be represented by William Clegg, a top Queen’s Counsel, but his case will not be heard until the final week of June at the earliest.

“From the outset, one of the aims of the investigation, in addition to trying to understand the environment within which such serious breaches came to be committed, has been to identify what measures are needed to ensure the yard operates in accordance with the Rules in future,” Adam Brickell, director of integrity, legal and risk for the BHA, said.

The BHA will not take any further action until the result of Al Zarooni’s hearing is known.

“These results highlight why Sheikh Mohammed took the decision to lock down the stables at Moulton Paddocks until every Godolphin horse in training at Newmarket had been tested,” said Simon Crisford, Godolphin’s racing manager said on the organisation’s website.


THE SEVEN HORSES

ENCKE
Raced four times in 2012 concluding with victory in the St Leger (Group 1) on 15th September at Doncaster. Unraced since. The horse was subjected to post race tests (both negative) on 22nd August at York and again at Doncaster after the St Leger.

ENERGIZER
Won at Royal Ascot 2012 when trained in Germany. Finished last of six in the Great Voltigeur (Group 2) at York on 22nd August on only start for Mahmood Al Zarooni. Unraced since.

GENIUS BEAST
Unraced since finishing eighth of nine in 2011 St Leger.

IMPROVISATION
Ran twice in 2012 as a two year old, finishing third to Steeler on his second start in a Goodwood maiden. Won a maiden race at Newmarket on 17th April 2013 after which the horse was not selected for post race testing.

STAMFORD
Ran twice in 2012 as a two year old, finishing third and fourth in maiden races. Unraced since.

STEELER
As yet unraced in the colours of Godolphin. Ran six times for Mark Johnston as a two year old including winning the Royal Lodge (Group 2) at Newmarket and finishing third in the Racing Post Trophy before transferring to Godolphin.

ZIP TOP
Unraced since finishing second to Camelot in Racing Post Trophy in October 2011, when trained by Jim Bolger.