Gary Moore pair Ar Mest and Diakali withdrawn after failing veterinary checks
Two Gary Moore-trained horses were withdrawn from races at Cheltenham on Friday after failing their respective veterinary checks.
Ar Mest, who was due to contest the Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle, and Diakali, declared for the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase, were not allowed to take part.
Robin Mounsey, BHA head of media, said: “Amongst the recommendations from the Cheltenham review are a suite of measures designed to ensure all the horses who compete at this year’s festival are fit, healthy and suitable to race.
“These recommendations include a requirement for trainers to return medical declarations forms in advance of the festival for every runner, and for pre-race examinations to be carried out on every runner on the day of their race.
“As a result of this process, Ar Mest has been withdrawn from the County Hurdle and Diakali has been withdrawn from the Grand Annual Handicap Chase, after failing their veterinary checks.”
David Sykes, director of equine health and welfare for the BHA, said: “On examination of Ar Mest the BHA veterinary officers found he was lame in a hind limb, and on examination of Diakali they found a soft tissue injury to his right fore.
“As a consequence they instructed both horses be taken away and given time to address the concerns and the horses’ medical records examined.
"However, on a subsequent, later inspection of both horses by a panel of three BHA vets and a Cheltenham racecourse veterinary surgeon, it was unanimously agreed the issues were not deemed to have improved. For this reason they made the decision that the horses had not passed their veterinary inspections and were not suitable to race.
“The role of the BHA is to reduce risk and eliminate, where possible, any injury which could be avoided. It was the view of the independent BHA vets and the Cheltenham racecourse vet that the issues exhibited by both horses might have created an increased risk to the horse and rider, or other horses and riders in the race.
“The process of carrying out pre-race checks is not a new one. Pre-race checks of certain horses occur at every British fixture, and over 100 horses were checked in this manner at the Cheltenham Festival last year. All that has changed for 2019 is that the checks have been extended to cover every horse running at the Festival, and the addition of medication records to provide further information to inform the vet’s decision."
"The benchmark required to pass the test on the day has not changed for the festival.”
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