Zaaki, the star of the 2021 Brisbane Winter Carnival, has been disqualified from the Group 3 JRA Plate on April 24th at Randwick after returning a positive test for a restricted substance, while trainer Annabel Neasham has been fined $7,000.
The six-year-old gelding finished runner-up to Paths Of Glory in the JRA Plate in his second start in Australia, but that prizemoney will now be taken away from connections after their Group 1 winner returned a pre-race positive sample to the anti-inflammatory meloxicam, although his post-race sample came back negative.
Neasham said in her statement that she was “extremely disappointed” by the news.
“Not only because it undermines the standard of integrity and professionalism the stable represents and that everyone in the team strives to achieve, but also for Zaaki’s owners who are great friends and supporters,” she said.
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“Meloxicam is a widely used therapeutic medication that is given to horses as an anti-inflammatory, and often given post-galloping.
“Zaaki was routinely given the treatment after his final Tuesday gallop, as is common practice for many stables.
“Subsequently, the results that have been returned from his wins in Queensland were negative.”
Neasham accepted full responsibility for the result and said she will be reviewing the stable’s processes in a bid to avoid such problems in the future.
Admitting that this was “extremely embarrassing and disappointing”, she assured owners that it will be business as usual.
Zaaki, who won three consecutive Group races during his recent stint in Queensland, is the $3.50 favourite for the Cox Plate in October.