A total of 391 blood samples were taken over a four-day period from 29 April to 2 May and then analysed at HFL Sport Science laboratories. The results are now through, and the good news for Godolphin is that all those horses trained by Saeed bin Suroor tested negative for any banned substance.
That means the BHA is now prepared to move forward with an application for bin Suroor to take over the horses at the Moulton Paddocks yard formerly run by the disgraced Mahmood al Zarooni. However, it will be a fortnight after the licence has gone through before any of them can run.
However, a further seven horses, including St Leger winner Encke, will spend the summer on the sidelines after tests on them showed up positive for stanozolol, the anabolic steroid that appeared in earlier tests on 15 horses in Al Zarooni’s care. The BHA said that tests on Encke after his third placed finish in York’s Great Voltigeur Stakes and the St Leger in September were negative.
Now he, along with Energizer, Genius Beat, Improvisation, Stamford, Steeler and Zip Top, is suspended from racing until 29 October this year, six months from the date the samples were taken. They will each have to be tested again before they can run again.
Both Godolphin and Al Zarooni have until Thursday this week to ask the BHA to send the samples for a second analysis, but it seems unlikely either will do so.
Speaking for the BHA, chief executive Paul Bittar said, “These test results endorse the swift action and measures taken by the BHA in this matter. Whatever the outcome of his appeal before the independent Appeal Board, the gravity and scale of the infringements warranted Mahmood Al Zarooni being removed from control of the yard as quickly as possible. We welcome the news that Saeed bin Suroor’s horses tested negative and this clears the way for him to now take charge at Moulton Paddocks.”