Very Wood: won the Albert Bartlett at the festival last year
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos
CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL winner Very Wood has been disqualified from the Grade 2 Ten Up Novice Chase at Navan in February after testing positive for a prohibited substance.
One of the stars of Noel Meade’s stable, the gelding tested positive for Capsaicine, an irritant powder found in chillies and discovered in a product supplied to Meade by equine nutritionists Trinity Consultants.
The substance is on the banned list because of its anti-inflammatory properties but had been used by Meade as it was contained within a product called Liver, Kidney Lymph Detox and Pick Me Up for Racehorses, provided by Trinity.
The suppliers stated they were not aware red pepper was a prohibited substance and that a small amount was included in the formula of the product used by Meade.
They equally accepted the product stated the formula did not contain any substance included in the list of prohibited substances and that this was incorrect, while accepting any fault was theirs and not Meade’s.
The trainer was represented in a Turf Club inquiry by Michael Grassick and could not be contacted last night.
The Turf Club’s committee accepted Meade had used the product on the basis of information on the label which stated it did not contain any prohibited substances. They opted not to levy a fine, but ordered Meade to pay for the cost of analysis of the ‘B’ sample and Turf Club costs of €750.
Eddie O’Leary, racing manager to Very Wood’s owner, Gigginstown House Stud, was unperturbed by the demotion which handed first place in the Ten Up to the JP McManus-owned runner-up Noble Emperor, trained by Tony Martin.
O’Leary said: “From Noel’s point of view, it was written on the product it was safe for racehorses and it turns out the company was wrong and it isn’t so. The makers will have to smarten up. Nobody died and we’ve all moved on.”
Very Wood left two disappointing early-season runs well behind him when beating Noble Emperor at Navan and subsequently went off 7-2 favourite in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival where he underperformed.
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