Pair banned from racing for ten years for their part in alleged doping of Yorkshire trainer Mick Easterby’s Ladies First

Two men have been banned from racing for 10 years – and legendary Yorkshire trainer Mick Easterby fined a token sum of one pence – at an independent disciplinary panel hearing of the British Horseracing Authority over the alleged doping of Ladies First at Newcastle in September 2018.

Trainer Mick Easterby has been fined 1p following an alleged doping case at Newcastle.
Trainer Mick Easterby has been fined 1p following an alleged doping case at Newcastle.

The men, named by the BHA as Neil Waggot and Stephen Walker, were caught on CCTV footage apparently feeding the horse in the hours before she ran in a one-mile handicap while she was in the racecourse stables.

The horse subsequently tested positive for Timolol, a beta blocker.

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Ladies First, who was the 6-4 favourite, was beaten 22 lengths in eighth place of the nine runners.

Trainer Mick Easterby has been fined 1p following an alleged doping case at Newcastle.

She was disqualified and Easterby, who trains at Sheriff Hutton, fined the token amount of 1p simply because of his position and obligations as the horse’s trainer. The BHA made no allegation that he administered any prohibited substance, directly or indirectly.

Written reasons will be published in due course.

A spokesperson for Newcastle racecourse said: “Newcastle racecourse takes all matters of security and integrity very seriously and meet all licensing requirements in that regard.

“Following this incident in 2018, the individuals concerned were removed from the racecourse as soon as their actions had come to light and the racecourse has provided all relevant information to the BHA, as and when requested.

This was Fusil Raffles winning Wetherby's Charlie Hall Chase under Daryl Jacob.

“We look forward to seeing the written summary of the hearing, and will work with the relevant bodies to implement any amendments to security procedures that are deemed necessary.”

Meanwhile James Bown’s growing alliance with former champion trainer Nicky Henderson will continue tomorrow when he partners Fusil Raffles in Doncaster’s Sky Bet Chase – the feature race of the year over obstacles on Town Moor.

Bowen, whose older brother Sean is also a highly-rated rider, is one of the rising stars of the weighing room and enjoyed a notable win on Henderson’s Mister Fisher a fortnight ago in Kempton’s Silviniaco Conti Chase.

And while Nico de Boinville is undoubtedly the number one rider at Seven Barrows, and has more than 30 Grade One wins to name, Bowen has quietly emerged this season as an integral member of the Henderson team

Jockey James Bowen after winning the North Yorkshire Grand National at Catterick earlier this month.

The high-profile mount on Fusil Raffles – victorious in Wetherby’s Charlie Hall Chase last October – comes about because Daryl Jacob, retained rider to owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, is on the injury sidelines.

Fusil Raffles was a fortunate victor in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby back in October, when Shan Blue crashed out with the race at his mercy.

Elsewhere on the Doncaster card it will be a shock if Third Time Lucki, trained by Dan Skelton and ridden by his brother Harry, doesn’t land the Lightning Novices’ Chase.

Frankie Dettori will spend a short spell on the sidelines after testing positive for Covid-19. The rider was due to be in action at Meydan today.

In a video posted on Twitter, he said: “I won’t be riding this weekend, as I’ve tested positive for Covid. I’m restricted in my room for a few days. I’m feeling a bit under the weather, but I’ve had my vaccine so we should survive. I’ll keep you posted, but I’m not going to be doing much anyway.”