Three winners in Ireland disqualified due to positive tests

Grand National-winning trainer Martin Brassil was one of three trainers to have a winner disqualified by the referrals committee of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board as a result of testing positive for a prohibited substance.

City Island, trained by Brassil, won a maiden hurdle at the Galway festival in August, but tested positive for traces of arsenic, which is a banned substance.

During the IHRB investigation it transpired that Brassil had been using two supplements, one of which was seaweed-based, in his feeding regime, and that the seaweed supplement contained arsenic.

City Island was disqualified and the race was awarded to the Willie Mullins-trained Getareason, who finished second.

Brassil, who sent Numbersixvalverde out to win the 2006 Grand National, was fined €1,000 for being in breach of the rules, but the fine was waived as Dr Lynn Hillyer, the IHRB's chief veterinary officer and head of anti-doping, said the trainer could not have been aware of the presence of arsenic in the supplement at the time he was using it.

She noted that, due to recent cases, this information had been publicised and trainers were being reminded that caution should be exercised regarding the timing of the use of supplements in general, in particular those which contain seaweed.

Trainers Aidan Fogarty and Adrian Joyce also had €1,000 fines waived by the committee after investigations were made into the positive tests taken from the Fogarty-trained Robin On The Hill, who won a handicap hurdle at Wexford on July 27, and from Coach Bombay – trained by Joyce – who won a Flat handicap at Navan on July 14.

Traces of the prohibited substance Tetramisole were found in samples taken from Robin On The Hill and Fogarty admitted that, on veterinary advice, he had treated the horse with Levacide, but had ceased administering it 11 days before the race. 

The race was awarded to Aasleagh Dawn, who had finished second, and the fine was waived on the basis that Fogarty had taken all reasonable precautions to avoid a rule breach.

In the case of Coach Bombay, Flixoride, which contains the banned substance Fluticasone, was identified as the source of the adverse analytical result. Joyce stated that his vet had prescribed Flixotide due to the horse having a dirty scope and that he had used the medication previously for other horses with a 72-hour withdrawal period prior to racing.

Again the €1,000 fine was waived as it was considered that Joyce had taken all reasonable precautions to avoid a breach of the rules. The Navan race was awarded to Rince Deireanach.