Racing: Irish hit by dopers

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The Independent Online
THE SPECTRE of doping hit Irish racing yesterday when it was announced by the Turf Club that a horse that ran poorly at Tralee the Monday before last was administered with a "stopping drug".

Tests on the sample taken from the six-year-old Tobar Na Carraige revealed the presence of Acetylypromazine (ACP), the drug used in similar cases in Britain - including those of Avanti Express and Lively Knight which are still under police investigation.

Tobar Na Carraige, trained by John Joe Walsh, was tested after he ran in a handicap hurdle at Tralee. He opened at 4-1 but started at 7-1 and was pulled up in a race won by Noel Brett's 11-year-old Drishogue Lad. He was backed from 8-1 in to 7-2 favourite and was running for only the second time since he landed a gamble at Listowel 13 months previously.

A statement from the Irish Turf Club said: "Following the running of the Joseph Grace Memorial Handicap Hurdle, John J Walsh, trainer of Tobar Na Carraige, reported to the acting stewards he was very concerned about the disappointing run of his horse.

"As a result the Turf Club initiated certain procedures including the taking of post-race samples. The Turf Club confirmed that the analysis of the urine sample taken from Tobar Na Carraige showed that Acetylpromazine was administered to the horse. The Garda authorities have been informed and investigations into every aspect of the case are continuing."

Acetylpromazine was discovered in the samples of six horses found to have been doped in Britain in the 1990s, including Norwich and Bravefoot at Doncaster in 1990, Flying Diva at Yarmouth the same year and Her Honour at Kempton in 1993.