O’Brien Arc Runners Tested After Possible Feed Contamination

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Aidan O’Brien | Scoop Dyga

A handful of positive tests for the prohibited substance Zilpaterol in France has led to an investigation of the products of equine nutrition company GAIN after it was found that all five affected horses had been fed the company’s products. Testing of GAIN products subsequently returned positive results for Zilpaterol. Zilpaterol is a synthetic substance used to promote weight gain in cattle.

The products in question as stated by France Galop are racehorse cubes, racehorse mix and opti-care balancer. GAIN has advised customers to cease feeding its products while an investigation is undertaken.

A statement from GAIN said that Zilpaterol “has never formed part of any formulation in any of our animal nutrition ranges.” Martin Ryan, Head of GAIN Equine, said, “We apologise sincerely to our valued customers for the inconvenience caused by this incident and we are committed to promptly keeping you fully informed. A thorough investigation and trace back of all feed ingredient sources is underway as a matter of urgency to determine how this external contaminant could have found its way into some batches of our equine product.”

Trainer Aidan O’Brien told Racing Post on Friday evening that he feeds GAIN, but that all of his horses had been switched to a different brand of feed on Thursday evening immediately after he had received the news. O’Brien has sent blood and urine samples from all his runners in France this weekend to be analysed and is hoping to receive results by Saturday evening.

“They say after a day and a half or two days, the substance should be gone out of the horse’s system,” O’Brien told Racing Post. “So, if, when we get the results, there is a trace of the substance in it, we’ll have to see how much is there and then make a decision, after changing the feed for two days, whether we should run on Sunday or not. The experts are telling us that it should be clear by then, so we’ll just have to see.”

O’Brien said he plans to go ahead with his two runners at ParisLongchamp on Saturday, Mythical (Fr) (Camelot {GB}) and Passion (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}).

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