Caviar trainer, Peter Moody, denies steroid use

 

The first Classics of the season, at Newmarket this weekend, cannot come soon enough to stem the noxious tides of the Godolphin steroids scandal. Ripples of suspicion have extended so far across the Turf over the past 10 days that a backwash of resentment has now been drawn all the way from Australia.

Peter Moody, who last month retired Black Caviar after 25 unbeaten starts, indignantly denied insinuations that her immaculate career might have been tarnished by steroids. On a more positive note, promoters of Royal Ascot will already sense the stakes being agreeably raised – in an Ashes summer – for the next posse of Australian raiders, which is set to include Black Caviar's half-brother, All Too Hard.

The fact is that Mahmood al-Zarooni, the disgraced trainer last week banned for eight years after 11 of his horses had tested positive for anabolic steroids, would not have been in breach of the rules either in his Dubai homeland or in Australia. That anomaly has since renewed speculation about the kind of artificial stimulus that might have sustained the development of various brawny Australian sprinters at Ascot over recent years.

Five years ago Mark Johnston, himself a vet, incensed a number of Australian trainers by suggesting that Takeover Target, a winner at the 2006 meeting, should never have been invited back after subsequently failing a drugs test in Hong Kong. Moody himself was quoted saying: "If someone like Mark Johnston wants to train like they did 200 years ago, then good luck to him. You've got to look at every advantage within the rules."

But Lee Freeman, who won the 2007 King's Stand Stakes with Miss Andretti, had already responded to the mutterings of the past week by stressing that his mare never received steroids. And Moody told Sydney newspapers that Black Caviar's own career intake amounted to "nil".

"Steroids increase bulk," Moody said. "Black Caviar was a huge mare from the day she was born. It would have been absolutely counter-productive." He said that Black Caviar had been tested "clean" straight after her arrival in Britain, and again three days before her race. And he turned his guns on those "lily-white" British trainers who take a when-in-Rome approach to anti-bleeding medication at the Breeders' Cup. "They bang on about steroids but they are the first to use Lasix when they campaign horses in the US," he said. "Maybe the Poms might start looking at themselves rather than us."

The notion that Zarooni might appeal against his ban, meanwhile, seems thoroughly outlandish, his sole contribution to the hearing last Thursday having been to express guilt and contrition. In seeking the "opinions" of his Facebook friends, he could only expect them – or anyone else – to take him seriously if he were suddenly to disown the version of events he offered the British Horseracing Authority. Zarooni had originally been scheduled to have legal representation, but for some reason ultimately waived that right.

Pending any such surreal twist, many will finally hope to turn their attention to the Qipco 2,000 Guineas on Saturday. The men behind Toronado, heavily backed since his trial success, approach the race in top form and produced another pair of impressive winners at Ascot today. Anticipated saw off four other previous scorers in a novice race, while Ninjago showed striking acceleration in a Listed race contested by a big field of young sprinters.

Whether either will return to the same course next month remains to be seen, but there was an obvious royal lustre to a couple of others – literally so in the case of Estimate, who carried the monarch's silks in the Longines Sagaro Stakes. Her decisive success was warmly received by a big crowd, lured by free entry and glorious spring sunshine. Winner of the Queen's Vase over the same trip at last year's royal meeting, she is now 8-1 from 20-1 with Paddy Power for the Gold Cup over another half-mile.

Fencing looks set for the fulfilment that eluded him in a light campaign at three, winning with real authority on his first start since the champion trainer decreed a gelding operation. "He wasn't going to be a stallion and has returned a bigger, braver horse," John Gosden said, an edifying reminder there are more conscionable means of achieving the ends that have led others astray.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Corn Snow (4.30 Redcar)

Next best

The Codger (5.35 Redcar)

News
people
News
John Rees-Evans is standing for Ukip in Cardiff South and Penarth
news
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
Sport
David Silva, Andy Carroll, Arsene Wenger and Radamel Falcao
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photo Booth Host

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company offers London's best photo booth ...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Service Engineers



£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Service Engineers ...

Recruitment Genius: Project Director / Operations Director

£50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an incredible opportunity for a ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Administrator is requir...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'