Drugs test set to deny trainer Festival victory

0
Have your say

TRAINER Martin Keighley is set to be stripped of his first and only Cheltenham Festival triumph after his stable star Any Currency tested positive for prohibited substances.

The 13-year-old gave Yorkshire-born Keighley his first success at the biggest jumps meeting of the year when finally winning the unique cross-country test in March after twice finishing runner-up.

The horse then went on to win a Cheltenham handicap chase in April for a third course win.

However, Any Currency – ridden by Aidan Coleman – looks like being stripped of his Festival victory after triamcinolone acetonide (TCA) and its hydroxylated metabolite were found in a urine sample taken after the race.

The British Horseracing Authority will stage a hearing at a date yet to be arranged.

TCA can be legitimately used for horses in training for various therapeutic purposes, but it is a prohibited substance on race days, which means it must not be present in a horse’s system.

Should Any Currency lose the race, runner-up Josies Orders, trained by Enda Bolger and ridden by Nina Carberry, will be promoted into first place. Keighley, who trains near Cheltenham, declined to comment.

Rookie trainer David Loughnane hopes a big run from Nonno Giulio at Beverley today can act as a launchpad for the biggest week of his fledgling career.

Based at David O’Meara’s old yard in Nawton, victory on the Westwood would also provide a timely lift for Loughnane who has Royal Ascot aspirations next week with stablemate Earth Drummer.

Loughnane said: “Nonno Giulio won really well at Wetherby last time and the ground should again be perfect for him. It’s a good race, but we’d like to think he’ll go well.”