Gigginstown House Stud have welcomed an announcement from the British Horseracing Authority that officials are to visit the yard of trainer Philip Fenton in order to interview the trainer and conduct tests on horses in his care holding Cheltenham entries.
Fenton has been in the headlines in recent days after being charged with possessing unlicensed substances, including anabolic steroids, following a visit to his yard by the Department of Agriculture in January 2012, with a court case adjourned until next month. His horses on track for Cheltenham include Dunguib in the Coral Cup and Irish Hennessy hero Last Instalment, in the Betfred Gold Cup.
Gigginstown supremo Michael O’Leary reiterated on Sunday that he would be happy to subject his horses to BHA testing, should it be required.
And stud manager Eddie O’Leary responded to the latest news by saying: “We wrote to the BHA today to ask them to come and test Philip’s horses, so it is what we wanted.
“We have absolutely nothing to hide and hopefully this will help clear a few things up.”
The BHA said that following consultation with the Turf Club, it had been agreed that samples from Fenton’s horses will be collected by the BHA and fast-track testing will take place at HFL Sport Science, Newmarket, with the results of the tests available next week.
A statement from the BHA added that in addition to the sampling, Fenton will be interviewed and that the visit will form part of an ongoing process of gathering all relevant information regarding the issue.
It is understood negative samples would not automatically mean the horses would be allowed to run at Cheltenham, should other issues arise as part of the BHA trip.
Regarding the impending visit, Fenton said: “The BHA are more than welcome to come to my premises and I will assist them in every way I can.”
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