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Russian Realm

Russian Realm: one of the horses who has tested positive for morphine

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

Kelleway winner among morphine positives

THE identity of a further three horses to have tested positive for the prohibited substance morphine this summer became known on Wednesday.

Newmarket trainers Sir Michael Stoute and Gay Kelleway revealed to the Racing Post that Russian Realm and Royal Alcor had failed post-race tests after appearing at Royal Ascot and Yarmouth respectively.

Stoute's colt, owned by Cheveley Park Stud, finished ninth at the royal meeting in the Buckingham Palace Handicap, while Kelleway-trained Royal Alcor landed a staying handicap at Yarmouth the week after Royal Ascot and faces probable disqualification.

Kelleway thus looks set to lose one of her two winners this turf season, and said: "I was told Royal Alcor had failed the test three weeks after the race at Yarmouth, which is not satisfactory at all because I continued to run horses and have winners. The worry for trainers is that this could easily happen again."

Blewbury-based Eve Johnson Houghton was the third trainer on Wednesday to admit a horse had tested positive for morphine, in her case Charlie Wells, who won a classified stakes at Chepstow for owners Eden Racing, also the week after Ascot. The victory is the only one Charlie Wells has gained in nine career starts.

In a twist to the saga, Johnson Houghton said that she has never fed her string Alfalfa Oil Plus, the Dodson & Horrell product identified as possibly causing the problems.

On Tuesday evening Buckingham Palace revealed that the Queen's horse Estimate had tested positive for morphine after finishing runner-up in the Gold Cup last month, while Charlie Hills admitted last weekend he trained one of the horses to have recently failed a test.

The BHA announced last week that traces of morphine had been discovered in post-race samples provided by five horses. It is uncertain whether any more have unwittingly been fed products containing morphine.

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