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
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
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

Year 1 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: They want their school to ...

Year 5/6 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to work in ...

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star