TRAINERS Henry de Bromhead, Eoghan O’Grady and Debbie Hartnett have each lost a winner they trained in 2021 due to prohibited substances in post-race samples.
O’Grady was fined €1,000 by the Referrals Committee over his case but the fine was waived in the other two instances.
After winning a handicap chase at Downpatrick in March, 2021, the O’Grady-trained Springfield Lodge tested positive for tetramisole, a wormer for cattle and sheep which can be used off-label as an immunostimulant in horses. The trainer was unable to offer an explanation for the positive test. One possibility was that the horse came into contact with the substance when galloped in a neighbour’s field, but the trainer was reluctant to invetsigate this with his neighbour.
Hartnett fell foul of the rules when her Babylon Beach tested positive for dantrolene, which prevents tying-up, after winning a point-to-point at Kanturk in May 2021.
The trainer gave evidence that she had acted in good faith on veterinary advice and the Referrals Committee accepted she had taken reasonable precautions to avoid a breach of the rules.
The de Bromhead-trained Miss Tempo tested positive for flufenamic acid (an anti-inflammatory) following her success in a Tramore mares’ maiden hurdle in June 2021. The substance is not used in equine medicine but is found in human medicine in a gel named Etoflam.
Although a member of the trainer’s staff uses Etoflam, the trainer told the Referrals Committee he could not be certain as to how the adverse analytical finding came about as the filly never needed any kind of medication or ointment.