O'Brien Australian runners tested following food contamination


Aidan and Joseph O'Brien's Australian team of horses that have been sent down under for the Spring Carnival have been tested by Racing Victoria after the pair were forced to pull out all their runners on Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe card at Longchamp due to an issue with contaminated feed.

From both the yards there are currently around 10 horses between the yards that have been sent to Australia and are currently quarantining at the International Horse Centre in Werribee.

However, at the weekend The O’Briens pulled out their ParisLongchamp runners after they tested positive for the banned substance of zilpaterol that unknowingly was found in the feed at both of the yards and also Donnacha O'Brien's.

This now means that the horses that have travelled down under will also have to be tested for the substance and if it comes back that they are positive then they will be withdrawn from their respective races.

This could see the likes of Melbourne Cup fancy Tiger Moth and Caulfield Cup hope Anthony Van Dyck ruled out of those races.

(Credit ATR) A statement said: “Racing Victoria (RV) can advise that its Integrity Services team are liaising with Irish trainers Aidan and Joseph O’Brien regarding the circumstances that led to the stable scratching runners in France and Ireland across the weekend due to concerns regarding the alleged contamination of horse feed that it utilises.

“Reports from both trainers and international racing authorities are that feed used by both stables has been found in Europe to be contaminated with the prohibited substance zilpaterol.

“Zilpaterol is classified as a beta-agonist. Beta-agonists, such as the commonly used clenbuterol, are medications that primarily have an effect on an animal’s breathing. They are permitted for therapeutic use but are a prohibited substance in a horse’s system on raceday.

“For clarity, beta-agonists are not classified as anabolic steroids under the Australian Rules of Racing and thus the detection of a beta-agonist does not carry a mandatory stand down period. Beta-agonists are also not classified as a growth hormone under the Rules of Racing.

“Following discussions with the O’Brien stables, RV stewards have today conducted out of competition testing on their horses at Werribee to determine whether zilpaterol is currently in any of the horse’s systems. The results of these tests may take up to one week.

“Furthermore, both stables have confirmed to RV stewards today that they have ceased using feed from the provider in question.

“RV stewards will continue to work with the O’Brien stables regarding the situation and will make a further comment once the result of the out of competition tests are known and the stables have been notified.”