Queen’s horse Estimate tested positive to morphine

By: Mark Mazzaglia
July 23rd, 2014

Her Majesty The Queen’s horse Estimate is one of five horses that has returned a positive swab result to morphine from recent meetings in England, including tests from the Royal Ascot Carnival.

Jockey Nash Rawiller decked out in the Queen's colours talking pre-race to Gai Waterhouse.

Jockey Nash Rawiller decked out in the Queen's colours talking pre-race to Gai Waterhouse. Photo by Steve Hart.

Estimate, prepared by legendary Newmarket trainer Sir Michael Stoute, will be disqualified from her second placing behind Leading Light in the Group 1 £350,000 The Gold Cup (2 mile 4 furlong) at Royal Ascot on June 19 if the British Horseracing Authority verifies the presence of the prohibitive substance.

Contaminated food is thought to be the cause of the unprecedented spate of positives to morphine with one of Britian’s major feed merchants, Dodson and Horrell, issuing a statement last week that one of its suppliers had notified them “of a possible component contamination.”

The Queen’s bloodstock and racing advisor John Warren released a statement to the effect that Estimate was one of five horses that tested positive to morphine and that the Queen has been notified.

“On Thursday, July 17, the British Horseracing Authority announced that a number of post-race samples, obtained from recent race meetings, had been found to indicate the presence of morphine, which is a prohibited substance on race days. Five horses, under the care of various trainers, were affected,” Warren said.

“I can confirm that one of those horses was Estimate, the five year-old filly trained by Sir Michael Stoute and owned by the Queen. Initial indications are that the positive test resulted from the consumption of a contaminated feed product.

“Sir Michael is working closely with the feed company involved to discover how the product may have become contaminated prior to delivery to his stables.

“As the BHA investigates this matter, including potential links between the different cases, Sir Michael continues to offer his full cooperation. There will be no further comment until the BHA announces its considered findings. Her Majesty has been informed of the situation.”

Estimate, who won the Gold Cup at Roayl Ascot in 2013 for the Queen, is set to be stripped of her second placing in this year event and loose the runner’s up cheque of £80,625.

If it is proven that the presence of morphine was accidental and related to food contamination, trainer Sir Michael Stoute will escape any penalty, as will the other trainers that have been caught up in the unfortunate situation

The Queen is one of the world’s highest profile thoroughbred owners and has raced horses for sixty years with more than one thousand, six hundred winners.

Leading Randwick trainer Gai Waterhouse currently prepares Carlton House for the Queen and the six year old was unlucky not to have won a race for Her Majesty during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Carnival.

Carlton House, who is being prepared for the up-coming Spring Carnival, was beaten a nose when second to Silent Achiever in the Group 1 $500,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 22 and then finished third to It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 19, the second day of ‘The Championships.’

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