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Positive drugs test for Noverre

Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation is virtually certain to lose the French 2,000 Guineas following Noverre’s positive result at a drugs test taken after the race.

It has emerged that Noverre, who beat Vahorimix at Longchamp on 13 May, showed traces in his system of methyprednisolone, a medication used for arthritic problems. Methyprednisolone is a prohibited substance under the international rules of racing.

Godolphin are puzzled by Noverre’s positive test result because he had been taken off the medication days before the period recommended by vets. After returning from France, he was put back on the same drug and when he was tested again after his latest race at Royal Ascot he showed negative.

Simon Crisford, racing manager to Godolphin, said that the whole team had been shocked by the news.

“This is a one-off situation which could not have been foreseen, because of the stringent guidelines we follow. We accept the French findings and are resigned to Noverre being disqualified,” he said.

France-Galop, the French racing authority, will meet in Paris later this month when the disqualification of Noverre is expected to be a formality.

This setback comes at a bad time for Godolphin when its major rival in world racing – the Coolmore operation in Ireland – is plundering most of the big races, most notably with the dual Derby winner Galileo and Thursday’s Darley July Cup hero Mozart.

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