O'Brien Scratches All Four Arc Runners After Feed Contamination

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Aidan O'Brien will scratch all of his Sunday runners-including his four contenders for the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe-after results of a urine test came back positive for Zilpaterol from contaminated feed. France Galop and feed company GAIN alerted horsemen on Thursday that a handful of positives for the synthetic substance, which is unlicensed in Europe, had been returned, with GAIN recommending customers to stop feeding their products while they complete an investigation into how the contamination occurred.

O'Brien revealed on Friday that he fed the products in question and that blood and urine samples from all his weekend runners had been sent out for testing. His two Saturday runners at ParisLongchamp, Passion (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Mythical (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) came back negative and ran, but positive tests mean that Japan (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), Mogul (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), Sovereign (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Serpentine (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) will sit out the Arc.

A statement from Ballydoyle read, “Unfortunately the results of the urine samples taken from the horses yesterday have come back positive from the French laboratory. There is a possibility that the contaminant may have left their system by the time of racing tomorrow however we have no guarantee of this and in order to protect the integrity of racing we have decided to withdraw all our horses from racing tomorrow. Joseph and Donnacha O'Brien will do likewise.”

Other high-profile runners for O'Brien on the Arc card were to include St Mark's Basilica (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) in the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and Lope Y Fernandez (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) in the G1 Prix de la Foret. Joseph O'Brien will withdraw Pretty Gorgeous (Fr) (Lawman {Fr}) from the G1 Prix Marcel Boussac, while Donnacha O'Brien's Classic-winning Fancy Blue (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) will be a non-runner in the G1 Prix de l'Opera.

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