By Jon Lees
Australia: One of Australia’s most popular horses, Alligator Blood, has been stripped of victory in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas over a failed drug test, denying connections the A$1.2 million (£616,000) first prize.
It follows the discovery of traces of the banned substance altrenogest in a urine sample taken after the three-year-old gelding contested the valuable Listed prize at Gold Coast in January.
Sunshine Coast trainer David Vandyke appeared before Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) stewards on Thursday at which he was found guilty, fined A$20,000 (£11,254) and the horse disqualified.
Alligator Blood crossed the line the two-length winner in January as the 4-5 favourite. Eleven Eleven, trained by Gregory Hickman and ridden by Keagan Latham has been promoted to first place.
Altrenogest, commonly known as Regu-mate, is not intended for use on male horses. It contains a hormone designed to prevent female horses being in season, or stop them losing the foal if already pregnant.
Queensland stewards later released their findings in which they accepted there was no evidence that VanDyke, his staff or any other person had administered the substance.
Alligator Blood won two more races after the Guineas, landing the G3 CS Hayes Stakes and the G1 Kennedy Australian Guineas, both run at Flemington in February. Swabs taken after both races were clear.
Vandyke has the right to apply for an internal review of the decision. Alligator Blood’s owner Allan Endresz has announced he will challenge the result in the Supreme Court.