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Queen's horse Estimate tests positive for morphine

ESPN staff
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Estimate, far left, won the Ascot Gold Cup in 2013 © PA Photos
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Estimate, the 2013 Ascot Gold Cup winner owned by the Queen, has tested positive for banned substance morphine, Buckingham Palace has announced.

It is thought the positive test stemmed from the eating of a contaminated feed product, according to the Palace. The news follows the British Horseracing Authority's recent announcement that five horses had tested positive for morphine in post-race tests.

John Warren, the Queen's bloodstock and racing advisor, released a statement saying: "On Thursday July 17 the British Horseracing Authority announced that a number of post-race samples, obtained from recent race meetings, had been found to indicate the presence of morphine, which is a prohibited substance on race days. Five horses, under the care of various trainers, were affected.

"I can confirm that one of those horses was Estimate, the five year-old filly trained by Sir Michael Stoute and owned by The Queen. Initial indications are that the positive test resulted from the consumption of a contaminated feed product.

"Sir Michael is working closely with the feed company involved to discover how the product may have become contaminated prior to delivery to his stables.

"As the BHA investigates this matter, including potential links between the different cases, Sir Michael continues to offer his full co-operation. There will be no further comment until the BHA announces its considered findings. Her Majesty has been informed of the situation."

Morphine can be used in medication but its use is prohibited on a race day.

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