THE QUEEN’S horse racing interests were last night embroiled in a doping controversy after it emerged that 2013 Ascot Gold Cup winner Estimate had tested positive for the banned drug morphine.
The five-year-old mare, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, is one of five horses from various stables whose samples from post-race tests showed traces of the substance, banned on competition days.
Buckingham Palace’s racing advisor John Warren said contaminated feed may have been to blame for the positive test.
The Queen, who watched Estimate narrowly miss out on winning the Gold Cup again last month, had been notified of the positive test, he added.
Estimate and the other horses under investigation could have results wiped from the records.
“On Thursday July 17 the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) 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.
“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, including potential links between the different cases, Sir Michael continues to offer his full co-operation.”