Racing: Echo of past in Honour doping

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The Independent Online
THE DOPE RING who 'nobbled' Triumph Hurdle contender Her Honour at Kempton last month gave her the same drug that was used three years ago to stop horses at Doncaster and Yarmouth, it was confirmed yesterday.

Martin Pipe's filly was given acetylpromazine before her 40- length defeat behind Indian Quest. This fast-acting tranquilliser was also found in tests on Bravefoot and Norwich at Doncaster's 1990 St Leger meeting, and on Flying Diva at Yarmouth the same season.

The Jockey Club, who finally named the drug yesterday, also revealed that a different sedative - detomidine - was given to Flash Of Straw, the Geoff Lewis-trained horse doped at Yarmouth last August.

Acetylpromazine, which can be administered by injection or tablet, or squirted into the nostrils, was also present in two horses doped at Kilbeggan, Ireland, in 1991. Its effect on a horse would be similar to detomidine, which causes the muscles to relax and breathing to slow down.

Greenalls Gold Cup winner Party Politics became Ladbrokes' 12-1 joint-favourite with Romany King for the Grand National yesterday. Corals also shortened the 1992 Aintree winner from 14-1 to 12-1 after laying him to lose pounds 50,000. Romany King is their 10-1 favourite. William Hill reported backing for Royal Athlete, who was cut to 25-1 from 33-1. Zeta's Lad remains 8-1 'with a run' with both Hills and Ladbrokes.

Champion Hurdle outsiders Royal Derbi and Flakey Dove are set to meet in the Berkshire Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday. Both are among the nine horses entered yesterday in the 2m 5f race. It will be their final outings before the Cheltenham Festival.