07/24/2014 2:45PM

Sixth horse in England tests positive for morphine


Another horse has tested positive for morphine in England, according to the Racing Post, and Michael Stoute, who trains a horse for Queen Elizabeth II that tested positive, has revealed that a second horse in his stable also tested positive for the drug.

The admission by trainer Tony Carroll that his horse Ocean Legend tested positive for morphine following a race at Brighton on June 24 brings to six the number of horses caught up in the spate of positive morphine tests in the U.K. The British Horseracing Authority is investigating the possibility that the positives are the result of accidental contamination of feed products.

Morphine is a banned substance in all major racing countries, meaning the drug cannot appear at any level of concentration in a post-race test. However, because morphine positives are frequently a result of environmental contamination, usually through ingested poppy seeds, most regulatory agencies conduct investigations into the possible sources of the positives when the post-race tests indicate the drug is present in trace amounts.

The BHA has not released the levels at which morphine was detected. Last week, it announced that five horses had tested positive following races at Royal Ascot, but it did not identify the horses.

Stoute told the Racing Post on Thursday that his Russian Realm also tested positive for the drug following a race at Royal Ascot. A representative of the queen acknowledged on Tuesday night that Estimate, who ran second in the Ascot Gold Cup during the meet, had tested positive.

The other trainers who have acknowledged positives are Charlie Hills, Eve Johnson Houghton, and Gay Kelleway.

Laura More than 1 year ago
how is a horse eating poppy seeds? did someone give them bagels? I will never understand the human propensity to give an animals so prone to colic (which can result in the need for expensive treatments, even surgery and can be deadly) human foods they have no business eating (not just the weirdness of foods they wouldn't normally eat, but what about all the chemicals, preservatives and such?)