Any Currency loses Cheltenham Festival title due to prohibited substance

Any Currency has been stripped of his Cheltenham Festival title.

Aiden Coleman rode the 13-year-old gelding to victory in the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase on 16 March this year.

However, the horse tested positive for a prohibited substance in a drugs test following the win.

A British Horseracing Authority (BHA) disciplinary panel today (25 August) disqualified Any Currency from the race, meaning that that runner-up Josies Orders, ridden by Nina Carberry, will be placed first.

Breaching of this type of substance rule on racedays usually carries a fine of between £750 – £10,000 as well as disqualification. But the panel ordered that no fine be paid by Any Currency’s trainer, Martin Keighley, who was cleared of any wrong-doing.

A statement from the BHA press office said the panel’s written reasons “will follow in due course”.

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What happened?

Any Currency tested positive for triamcinolone acetonide (TCA), a synthetic corticosteroid (news, 7 July).

The substance is a controlled medication under BHA rules, meaning it can legitimately be used in equine practice and horses in training for various therapeutic reasons, but must not be present in a horse’s system on raceday.

After it was revealed that the case would be heard by a BHA disciplinary panel, Mr Keighley wrote on his blog on 7 June that the horse was given the treatment for mild arthritis in his hocks 42 days before the race.

Under BHA rules, the minimum time between treatment and when a horse can race again is 14 clear days. However, the BHA stated that the minimum stand-down period does not necessarily equate to the detection time.

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