Cheltenham Festival winner Any Currency disqualified

Martin Keighley is determined to win the Glenfarclas Chase again with Any Currency after his disqualification from first place in the cross-country event at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The 13-year-old was found to have traces of triamcinolone acetonide (TCA) in his urine sample. 

It can be legitimately used for horses in training for therapeutic purposes, but is a prohibited substance on racedays.

The ruling was made at a British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel hearing yesterday.

No fine was imposed on Keighley, who was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Enda Bolger’s Josies Orders, the mount of Nina Carberry, was promoted to first place and allocated the prizemoney.

Keighley and his team believed they had left plenty of time for the treatment to clear the horse’s system. 

Speaking in June, when the hearing was announced, the trainer said he was “devastated for the team and everyone involved.”

The triumph had been a first success for Keighley at the biggest jumps meeting of the season and Any Currency was finally winning the unique test after finishing runner-up for the two previous years.

The horse then went on to win a Cheltenham handicap chase in April for a third course victory.

After yesterday’s hearing, Keighley said: “We have been cleared of any wrongdoings and have been shown to have done nothing wrong.

“It is frustrating for everyone involved that we have lost the race, but we just need to move on and make sure we have more Festival winners.

“Taking the positives out of it has made me more eager to have Festival winners now,” said Keighley, adding that Any Currency

“is the best cross-country chaser in Europe and although he will be 14 there is no reason why he can’t win it again.”

Jacqueline Brown, representing Keighley, stated the trainer had admitted a breach of rule (G)2.1 but had allowed 41 days for the treatment to leave the horse’s system against a mandatory 14 day stand-down period.

The panel felt Keighley had taken all reasonable measures and that the presence of TCA in the horse after 41 days was exceptional and, therefore, a fine should not be imposed.

A statement from the BHA read: “The overarching policy behind medication control in British horseracing is the principle that ‘no horse should run in Great Britain under the effects of medication or have any substance present in its system that can affect performance’.

“This policy is based on the twin principles of fairness and welfare — fairness in ensuring that there is a level playing field for all participants, and welfare in that our horses race free from the effect of any substances.

“Mr Keighley admitted the finding... With TCA present, there was not a level playing field for other participants in the race.”


Lifestyle

Helen O’Callaghan says we are the least strict in all of Europe.Praise over punishment: Irish parents least strict in Europe - study

Kya deLongchamps detects a hint of rebellion behind the ritual of afternoon tea.Vintage View: English tradition of afternoon tea won't exit with Brexit

Friends and Young Offenders actors Shane Casey and Dominic MacHale speak to Pat Fitzpatrick about struggling to make it but why they are not seeking out fame.‘I was down to a euro’ - The Young Offenders actors tell of struggle to make it in acting

Gerry Fitzgerald runs Bandon Books Plus in Riverview Shopping Centre, Bandon, Co Cork.We Sell Books: Turning over a new leaf from bank to bookshop in Bandon

More From The Irish Examiner