Smart undertakes a 400-mile round trip to speed up virus test
Bryan Smart, whose yard is under quarantine restrictions owing to a case of equine herpes virus at the next door stable of Kevin Ryan, delivered blood samples to the Animal Health Trust himself on Wednesday in a bid to ensure the results are available before the weekend.
Smart drove the 400-mile round trip from his base in Hambleton, near Thirsk, to Newmarket because he wants to run his Royal Ascot hope Excellently Poised at Beverley on Saturday.
The colt, part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, is set to be declared on before the results are known but will have to be withdrawn if they prove unsatisfactory.
"I've delivered the blood and the swabs myself to the Animal Health Trust today and we won't know the results until Friday morning," Smart said. "They're going to let me declare on Thursday and if things aren't 100 per cent they're going to make me scratch on Friday."
BHA put a stop to entries
Smart has not had a runner since a case of EHV-1 was confirmed in one of Ryan's string last week. As a result the BHA put a stop to any entries from Ryan but also imposed restrictions on Smart and another neighbouring trainer, Michael Herrington, because they had shared transport.
The samples the AHT will test were taken from the horse who travelled back with one of Ryan's team after Smart's horsebox broke down.
"I've had to pay for my own swabs and I drove the car today," said Smart. "It would have cost £200 to send the swabs down and they might not have got there before 5pm today, so I dieseled my car up and set off.
"There was nothing on anything last night and the horse in question is very well. We turned him out and couldn't catch him the other day, so he obviously feels well, so I hope everything will be okay."