Any Currency looks likely to be stripped of a hugely popular victory
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
By Mark Scully 9:40AM 8 JUN 2016
MARTIN KEIGHLEY has spoken of his devastation at the prospect of Any Currency being stripped of his Glenfarclas Chase victory at the Cheltenham Festival after the veteran provided a positive sample for triamcinolone acetonide.
The Racing Post on Tuesday revealed the popular Cheltenham stalwart is likely to lose the race as a result of the test, with the BHA announcing a hearing on a date to be confirmed.
Speaking to At The Races on Wednesday, Keighley described the positive sample as “freakish” and said Any Currency had undergone the same preparation prior to running second in the race 12 months prior.
“I spoke with my physio, Maggie Turner, who I’ve worked with since I was 16 at David Nicholson’s and she felt that him being a 13-year-old he needed some help with his hocks,” Keighley explained.
“It’s just wear and tear for an old horse like him and he has a bit of arthritis, so between her and my vet we saw no reason why, with 42 days to the Festival, we shouldn’t help him through his training.
“It’s common practice in racing. It’s not a banned substance, it doesn’t enhance performance, it’s an anti-inflammatory and pain relief to make the horse comfortable.
“There was such a big gap between then and the Festival, so it’s just so hard to swallow that we’re going to lose the race. It’s devastating for the team and everyone involved.
“Anybody who saw us that day could see what the win meant and it’s just heartbreaking to think we could lose that.”
Informed in April
Keighley revealed he was first informed of the positive results just moment before Any Currency took to the track at Cheltenham in April to follow up his Festival outing with success in a handicap chase.
“Just before Aidan Coleman came into the paddock to ride him in his last race, I had a phone call from the BHA. They told me then and gave me the option, if I wanted to, to pull the horse out,” said the trainer.
“I was just astonished by what they told me and to watch him go out and win so impressively again was amazing and that test came back fine.”
Punters and bookmakers react
Tuesday’s revelations sparked anger among many punters who had been hoping the well-supported 15-8 favourite Josies Orders could provide yet more joy in what was a profitable Cheltenham Festival for many.
The eight-year-old was beaten a length into second by Any Currency and a host of punters shared details of what might have been on social media, with one showing a screenshot of an accumulator that would have paid in excess of £6,000 let down only by Josies Orders.