No prohibited substances found in racing yard raid in Kildare

Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board break with its normal procedure to issue a statement

No prohibited substances were found in tests taken from racehorses at the Co Kildare yard raided by gardaí and Department of Agriculture Food & Marine officials two weeks ago.

On Tuesday the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board broke with its normal procedure and issued a statement outlining the negative results of samples taken from racehorses at the premises near Monasterevin where equine therapist John Warwick operated from.

Animal medicines not licensed for use in Ireland were found in Warwick’s possession and were seized by DAFM personnel. It is understood it could be some time before the identity of those drugs is publicly available.

However, on the same day IHRB officials took hair and blood samples from all thoroughbreds present at the stables. Usually only details of positive drug tests are reported by the regulatory body but the high-profile nature of the current controversy appears to have prompted a change in policy.


A brief statement said: “The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board can today confirm that the hair and blood samples taken from horses at a premises near Monasterevin, County Kildare, on 9th November 2021 have been analysed at LGC laboratories and reported negative for prohibited at all times substances.

“As this is part of an ongoing investigation working in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and other agencies, we cannot make any further comment at this time.”

Substances prohibited at all times include anabolic steroids.

Other medications are permitted for veterinary use but cannot be in an animal’s system on race-day and an IHRB spokesman later clarified: “No prohibited substances of any kind were found in the racehorses tested.”

Releasing such information is a rare step by the IHRB with fears previously being privately expressed about the possibility of prejudicing any potential DAFM court case or any hearing that might occur within racing’s own referral system.

In other news, the Punchestown stewards noted the explanations of a dozen jockeys after a handicap chase won by the gambled on All Class descended into “farce” on Tuesday.

All Class, having just her second start for Co Armagh trainer Ronan McNally, was a strongly backed 13-8 favourite and eventually won easily by 23 lengths from the outsider Capture The Drama.

Successful gamble

After the leader and one other horse exited at the first fence, it was the veteran Capture The Drama who made the running from All Class with the rest of the field strung out nearly a fence behind the leading pair.

The main pack never looked like getting close with the 50-1 outsider Jimli’s Island eventually finishing third over 40 lengths behind the winner.

It was the latest successful gamble pulled off by All Class who won a flat handicap at Navan in March for then trainer David Dunne when backed from 66-1 to 9-2.

The stewards enquired into the running and riding of the pursuing pack and noted explanations that the “riders felt that the early fallers contributed to them getting so strung out early on and that they went very quick for the type of race it was”.

McNally said afterwards: “She did it really well but I wouldn’t read too much into that race as it was a complete farce.”

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column