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Schedule – November 2015

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Morphine mystery rumbles on

The mystery surrounding the five horses to have been found with morphine in their systems in recent post-race tests continues to rumble on and yesterday the story took another twist, with trainer Eve Johnson Houghton confirming that her charge Charlie Wells has tested positive but she has never used the contaminated feed that has been blamed for the incident.


Charlie Wells tested positive for morphine after winning a Classified Stakes at Chepstow last month and has since gone on to be placed back at the same track and also at Doncaster a week ago today. His trainer decided to come forward yesterday to confirm the failed test, following the announcement earlier in the week that the Queen’s horse Estimate was also among the five horses involved in the incident.


Johnson Houghton did say that she had used some feed from Dodson & Horrell, the feed supplier which is thought to have provided the contaminated batch, but has never used Alfalfa Oil Plus, the specific mixture being blamed for the positive tests.


“I had all my horses tested, but they haven’t come up with the results yet,” Johnson Houghton said in the Guardian.


“I don’t know which bit of feed it’s in, but hopefully we’ll get to the bottom of it, and hopefully it’s a one-off.”


“The one thing they seem to be hanging their hat on is linseed, at the moment.


“Because I think it’s linseed oil that goes into the Alfalfa Plus. And mine had some linseed in a linseed mash but that wasn’t from there [Dodson & Horrell]. But I don’t know where they get the [linseed] to go into their Alfalfa Oil Plus.


“I need to know that I’m not running with a problem, because we don’t know what it is or where it’s come from. Everything comes back to, where does it come from? I don’t know.


“The thing is, it’s such minuscule amounts that, really, it’s not performance-enhancing and I think the BHA need to start looking at a threshold.”


“It’s a shame,” she added. “I feel very sorry for my owners of that particular horse but I just wish they [the BHA] could get to the bottom of it quicker and that I’d know that everything was fine from now on. That’s the worrying thing, it’s not what’s happened, it’s the future. Just ensuring that we have no problems from now on.”


By Kevin Walsh / Photo: Jon Buckle/PA Wire



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