05/20/2013 1:47PM

Encke among seven Al Zarooni-trained horses banned for steroid use

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Encke, the winner of the Group 1 English St. Leger Stakes last September, was among seven horses formerly trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni who have been banned from racing for six months after testing positive for steroids in recent out-of-competition testing, the British Horseracing Authority announced Monday.

The latest announcement brings to 22 the number of horses trained by Al Zarooni for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Racing who were administered the banned steroids ethylestranol or stanozolol. All of the horses tested positive after samples were taken at the Moulton Paddocks stable in Newmarket, England, and not after racing.

In a statement, the BHA said Encke and other horses trained by Al Zarooni were tested last month after the trainer was suspended for eight years due to 11 horses in his care testing positive for steroids. Al Zarooni later told officials that four other horses were given the same medication.

Al Zarooni has appealed the suspension. A hearing in the appeal is expected in late June. The BHA said it will delay action on Monday’s announced positives until the hearing in the first case is conducted.

Recent testing also occurred at Godolphin trainer Saeed Bin Suroor’s stable. No horses from that stable tested positive for steroids, the BHA said.

In April, Sheikh Mohammed announced that the Moulton Paddocks stable was “locked down” until the BHA completed testing. Bin Suroor took over the training of that stable Monday on a temporary basis. On its website, Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said Monday he was “very disappointed” that seven additional horses tested positive.

“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,” he said in the statement.

Last month, the BHA announced that the 15 Al Zarooni horses initially found to be administered steroids were banned until early October.

Encke is part of a group that will be banned until Oct. 29 for testing positive for stanozolol. The other six horses are Energizer, Genius Beast, Improvisation, Stamford, Steeler, and Zip Top. The ban essentially eliminates those horses from racing during the current British flat-racing season on turf, which ends Nov. 9.

Many of the horses were stakes winners or stakes-placed, some for other stables before they were acquired by Godolphin. Energizer won the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot last June, Genius Beast won the Group 3 bet365 Classic Trial at Sandown Park in 2011, Improvisation won a maiden race at Newmarket last month, Steeler won the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes last September, Zip Top was second in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in 2011, and Stamford is a maiden after two starts.

Encke was given routine drug tests twice last summer, including after his win in the St. Leger, and did not test positive, the BHA said.

jttf More than 1 year ago
i notice that a few of america's best trainers have very good winning percentage off of a long layoff. should i suspect that these horses are getting meds/peds during the layoff ? because these horses's results go downhill after the 2nd start after a layoff. wouldnt the meds/peds effectiveness get weaker as time goes on ?
Sharjil Ahmad More than 1 year ago
Thats absolutely true. Old school horses run much more often. The trend is that most of the new trainers run their horses very few times. This is because steroids use is permitted off-track. You can keep a good horse off the track for three months, administer steroids, give him a couple light and a couple hard works and run him in a sprint or a mile race. The horse runs big...... Try wheeling him back in two or three weeks, hes done. Thats why, you see the form of horses declining with the number of races, even those spaced four, five or six weeks. But when they come back fresh, they run their best. This is obviously not true for all the trainers, but as a general rule in this industry. This is one reason you dont see many old school trainers doing as well as others, even though their horses run for longer and healthier.
russell More than 1 year ago
22 Horses in total. Clearly the BHA is doing their job.
Sal Carcia More than 1 year ago
I can't edit so I will post with corrections: When Zarooni horses came up positive for anabolic steroids, he claimed that he did not know it was against the rules to train for competition with steroids. I was not a completely unfeasible argument, given it is allowed in Dubai, Australia and the U.S. I was more concerned about how long he had been getting away with it and why it was not noticed sooner. I thought it was possible the BHA had a laissez-faire attitude toward drug testing like the U.S. has in many of its racing jurisdictions. In the end I am impressed with how quickly and thoroughly the BHA has responded to this crisis. The BHA not only tested the Godolphin horses in al Zarooni's barn, but they also tested the horses in Goldolphin's other barn trained by bin Suroor. Bin Suroor's barn was totally clean which leads me to believe that this was an isolated incident that BHA successfully dealt with. I give the BHA a lot of credit to restore its reputation for clean racing.
Sal Carcia More than 1 year ago
When Zarooni horses came up positive for anabolic steroids, he claimed that he did not know it was against the rules to train for competition with steroids. Not a completely unfeasible argument, given it is allowed in Dubai, Australia and the U.S. I was more concerned about how long he had been getting away with it and it was notived sooner. I thought it was possible the BHA had a laissez faire attitude toward drug testing like the U.S. has in many of its racing jurisdiction. In the end I am impressed with how quickly and thoroughly the BHA has responded to this crisis. The BHA not only tested the Godolphin horses in al Zarooni's barn, but they have tested the horses in Goldolphin's other barn trained by bin Suroor. Bin Suroor's barn was totally clean which leads me to believe that this was an isolated incident that BHA successfully dealt with. I give the BHA a lot of credit to restore its reputation for clean racing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ban the owner...do you really think a private trainer would be giving steroids to the sheik's horses without his approval?....oh...I forgot....he has a gadzillion dollars....he gets a free pass.
Sharjil Ahmad More than 1 year ago
Really............ did u read the column properly ? It says that Bin Suroor's horses all came up clean, who by the way is the main trainer for Godolphin. So, how did u make this careless assumption of Sheikh getting a free pass ? Anybody can talk about the misuse of medication, but us Americans. No one is worst than us in this regard.
Henry Vincent More than 1 year ago
these greedy trainers are bad for the sport. taking advantage and using drugs . should be grateful to the BHA for their commitment to racing.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
al zarooni is done in Europe and everywhere else with one exception if he decides to come to the states he will fit right in...i would bet every dime i have his horses have less drugs in them than most if not all of tod pletchers or most of the other so called trainers we have.
Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
Your comment is senseless, w/no basis in facts. This article is about the Euro's, & not Pletcher. For you to infer the Euro's are clean is whimsical at best. Comical surely. Provincial ? Absolutely. You need to smell some fresh roses....
Sal Carcia More than 1 year ago
This statement probably is true given the amount of legal drugs allowed on raceday and during training for competition in the U.S. I do not believe that anabolic steroids are banned in the U.S. during training. They are banned on raceday though.
Bruce Epstein More than 1 year ago
If we followed UK way's we'd have no trainers and shorter fields than we alrady have. Imagine having a race card with 8 races with 5 horses in each field.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
you prefer crippled junkie horses who cant run run twice at the same level?
GARY More than 1 year ago
It's called Hollywood Park's current meeting/lol.
Brian Taylor More than 1 year ago
What a difference! In Britain,even the horses are suspended.In most of the US,especially New York;you'ld be lucky to see the trainer get 15 days! In UK you have a strong disincentive to cheat.
Surasak More than 1 year ago
Money is everything for some people! What a disgrace to racing industries.