The Queen’s Gold Cup winning horse Estimate has tested positive for the banned substance morphine after tests were carried out today.
Estimate and four other horses tested positive for the substance after they completed their most recent race meetings, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) have confirmed.
The racehorse, owned by The Queen and trained by Sir Michael Stoute, made history in 2013 after winning the Royal Ascot Gold Cup, making the Queen the first reigning monarch to win the race. She finished in 2nd place in this year’s race.
Buckingham Palace say that initial indications are that the positive test resulted from the consumption of a contaminated feed product. Morphine is a strictly prohibited substance to be using on race day, however, it is allowed to be used during training.
Whilst morphine does not necessary enhance a horse’s performance, it can reduce pain and enable horses to continue despite injury. Not only is it banned because it is unfair on the other horses, but also because of the safety and welfare of all concerned.
Authorities are investigating whether there could be any connection between the five cases and, if so, what that link might be. All of the cases have shared characteristics, the BHA said, and it is not possible to rule out further positives from post-race samples obtained in recent weeks.
Photo a credit: @Racing_UK