By: David Baxter
Elective testing for the presence of corticosteroids should have been undertaken, with Yanworth’s failed drug test after his run in the Champion Hurdle preventable, the BHA disciplinary panel indicated in their notes on the case published on Monday.
Trainer Alan King was fined £2,000, while Yanworth was disqualified from the Cheltenham Festival showpiece – for which he started 2-1 favourite – after a post-race test revealed triamcinolone acetonide was present in the seven-year-old’s system.
TCA is a corticosteroid that can be administered to horses in training, but it cannot be present in their system come raceday.
On Monday the BHA revealed the panel’s findings into the Yanworth case, in which they described King’s failure to request an elective test as “an unreasonable one in all the circumstances”.
Yanworth had received injections of Adcortyl – which contains TCA – on two occasions in February, with the second injection coming 20 days before he was due to run at Cheltenham.
Option for trainers
Although horses are not permitted to run for 14 days after being administered an intra-articular corticosteroid, there have been previous cases of horses running outside that period yet the corticosteroid remains present in the system.
Any Currency, who won the cross-country chase in 2016 at the festival, was disqualified when a post-race test discovered TCA, with the injection taking place nearly six weeks before he was due to run.
The panel highlighted the option trainers have to ask for a test before a race, which can be arranged through the BHA and costs £123.92 plus VAT.
In the panel’s opinion it is a precaution “which would not break the bank”.