BREAKING – Aidan O’Brien’s horses will not run at Longchamp on Sunday

The Curragh 2018

Sunday’s spectator-less Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe meeting in Paris is getting closer to horse-less as it emerged on Saturday night that Aidan O’Brien’s runners cannot run. This is down to the fact that they have been fed with a product that has been contaminated with a banned substance.

Gain Equine Nutrition said on Friday evening that it had been “investigating the potential presence of a contaminant in some batches of our equine feed range”.

The banned substance in question is reported to be zilpaterol, which is used to fatten animals, mostly by beef farmers before they are sent off to the slaughter house.

O’Brien had four runners declared for the Arc including Derby winner Serpentine who was supplemented for the race midweek at a cost of €72,000. He confirmed to the Racing Post on Friday evening that his horses had been fed with products from Gain up until Thursday evening but the damage clearly had been done.

Japan, Mogul and Sovereign were also among the 15 runners in the Arc field for the Irish trainer.

In a statement from Ballydoyle’s Twitter feed, they stated “Unfortunately the results of the urine samples taken from the horses yesterday have come back positive from the French laboratory.”

“There is a possibility that the contaminant may have left their system by the time of racing tomorrow, however we have no guarantee of this and in order to protect the integrity of racing, we have decided to withdraw all our runners from racing tomorrow.”

They went on to say that Joseph and Donnacha will also withdraw their horses from Longchamp on Sunday.

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