Racing Week: Deep Impact fails drugs test

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  • Deep Impact doped

    Deep Impact, the favourite who finished third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, was given an illegal substance before the race on 1 Oct, French racing authorities have revealed.

    The Japanese star colt tested positive for ipratropium, an inhaled substance which aids the respiratory system and is banned in horse racing in Europe, but not Japan.

    Around 6,000 Japanese race enthusiasts attended the Lonchamp race, to watch Deep Impact who had won 10 of his previous 11 starts. But as a 24-1 outsider Rail Link became Andre Fabre’s seventh winner in the race, the Japanese fans were left disappointed.

    It is likely that the doping was human error rather than an attempt to cheat. Deep Impact is alleged to have undergone treatment for respiratory problems, but according to the Japan Racing Association, his handlers were aware that ipratropium is a banned substance in Europe.

    £5 m colt falls short on the track

    The world’s fourth most expensive colt, Jalil, failed to produce the goods at his debut race at the weekend. Bought by Sheikh Mohammed for £5.2 million, the colt only finished sixth of 13 runners at Newmarket.

    Although jockey Frankie Dettori believes Jalil has beautiful racing action, the pair was unable to dominate the field.

    Connections will be hoping Jalil is not following in the footsteps of another Godolphin record-price purchase, Snaafi Dancer, who never made it to the racecourse.

    Best Mate gets a race

    Officials at Exeter Racecourse have named a race after three-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate, who died at the Devon track. The Best Mate Beginners’ Steeple Chase is to be run on Tuesday.

    Best Mate began his steeple chasing career at Exeter in 2000 and won there six years ago.

    Top ride for Fallon

    According to Kieren Fallon,Yeats is the best international hope ever to take its chance in the Melbourne Cup. The colt, who won the Ascot Gold Cup and Goodwood Cup is bidding to become only the third international winner of the race in 146 years.

    Fallon, who has been banned from racing in the UK since July while he awaits trial over fraud charges, will be riding in Australia for the second time in his career over the next month, having been granted a licence by Racing Victoria last week.

    George Washington to retire

    George Washington will run on dirt for the first and last time next month, as he is to be retired. Coolmore has announced both Hurricane Run and George Washington will end their racing careers after next month’s Breeders’ Cup.

    Victories in the 2,000 Guineas and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes hailed George Washington as this season’s leading European three-year-old.

    Hurricane Run was world champion racehorse 2005 after winning the Irish Derby, and King George. But his appearance at the Breeders’ Cup will be a last attempt to restore his diminished reputation after a run of losses.

    Stud fees have not yet been announced.

    Monsignor back on course

    Monsignor, the brilliant novice hurdler whose race career was cut short due to injury, will parade at Newbury on Saturday, as ambassador for Heros’ (Homing Ex-Racehorses Organisation Scheme), a new charity which prepares retired racehorses for a careers as eventers, dressage horses and hacks.
    The charity teaches race horses to adapt to other disciplines – Monsignor, now competes in showing classes and hunts. According to Grace Muir of Heros, thoroughbreds bred for racing can excel in many other careers such as eventing, polo or dressage and also make excellent hacks. Muir and her team have already successfully retrained over 300 ex-racehorses at North Farm Stud and the establishment of Heros as a charity will enable the work to continue and expand on a secure financial footing.

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