A racehorse owned by the Queen has tested positive for morphine. Buckingham Palace said the banned substance was found in Estimate, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, reports the BBC. Initial indications are that the positive test resulted from the consumption of a contaminated feed product, the Palace said.
The Queen, who cheered Estimate on to Gold Cup success at Royal Ascot last year has been informed of the development.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) revealed last week that five horses had tested positive for morphine in post-race samples. Morphine is a permitted medication but is prohibited on race days
On 17 July the British Horseracing Authority announced that a number of post-race samples, obtained from recent race meetings, had been found to indicate the presence of morphine, the Queen's bloodstock and racing advisor John Warren said.
Five horses, under the care of various trainers, were affected. I can confirm that one of those horses was Estimate.
Initial indications are that the positive test resulted from the consumption of a contaminated feed product.
There's no suggestion at the moment there is anything deliberate or sinister about this. While this is a big story it's still very much in the melting pot, and it's going to be fascinating to see how all this unravels.
Warren added: Sir Michael is working closely with the feed company involved to discover how the product may have become contaminated prior to delivery to his stables.
As the BHA investigates this matter, including potential links between the different cases, Sir Michael continues to offer his full co-operation.”
Estimate, a five-year-old mare trained in Newmarket, created history in June 2013 by becoming the first horse owned by a reigning monarch to win the Gold Cup when victorious under jockey Ryan Moore before a 70,000-crowd on Ladies' Day.
The victory made headlines around the world as cameras caught the delighted Queen with a broad smile as her horse triumphed.
Estimate, who has four career wins from nine races, was a narrow runner-up to the Irish-trained winner Leading Light in the Gold Cup last month.
The royal horse also triumphed at Royal Ascot in 2012 when winning the Queen's Vase in the monarch's Diamond Jubilee year.