Ban steroids in horse racing – globally?

Al Kazeem

Roger Charlton has joined the chorus to ban the use of anabolic steroids worldwide.

The Beckhampton trainer’s comments came after Al Kazeem had won the bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown Park on Saturday.

Charlton trained Three Valleys when the colt was disqualified from the Middle Park Stakes in 2003 for failing a test for clenbuterol, a drug used to clear up a lung infection and aid normal breathing.

“I think there is a debate about steroids and all any of us want, whether it is people riding bicycles or horses, is a level playing field,” Charlton said.

“It is unfortunate that animals or humans are given steroids. I ask the question: would you want to buy a mare that had been on steroids, or use a stallion that had been on steroids or buy a yearling from another country that had been on steroids? None of us want that.”

Charlton questioned through the use of Twitter earlier in the week whether the travelling band of Australian horses, led by All Too Hard after his success down under on Saturday morning, would be tested before heading to England ahead of Royal Ascot.

A spokesman for Ascot told The Guardian on Saturday that the doping scandal was becoming a massive issue and that the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities should put the subject as their number one priority.

Anabolic steroids are free to use in most racing jurisdictions around the world, save for those in Europe.

Al Kazeem was last seen when winning the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket 12 months ago but despite the layoff travelled well throughout the 10-furlong heat in the hands of James Doyle.

Ektihaam set out to make virtually all but Al Kazeem was cruising in behind turning for home before finally making his move with a furlong to go.

Thomas Chippendale made it a three-way finish by launching his challenge down the outside and while Al Kazeem possibly felt his long absence in the dying strides, he hung on by .

Thomas Chippendale claimed a narrow second with Ektihaam third.

Al Kazeem has entries in races such as the Coronation Cup and Prince Of Wales’s Stakes this term but Charlton is targeting a trip to Ireland at the end of May.

“I was a bit apprehensive because a lot of mine will come on for the run. He looked great and that was a good effort,” Charlton added.

“We know he gets a mile and half, but a mile and a quarter is a more commercial distance, as long as he can win good races over that distance, but he will have entries over a mile and a half as well.

“In the immediate future, I think he will go to the Curragh for Tattersalls Gold Cup.”

Doyle is expecting his mount to progress for the run and said: “Since he’s come back he’s been galloping great at home and doing everything right.

“We expected this today. Today is a stepping stone to bigger things and he couldn’t have done it any easier.

“It was his first run for ages so I didn’t want to ask him to do too much too soon and when he got to the front he pricked his ears and lugged into the rail.”

Thomas Chippendale pleased connections on his return but is now set for a step up in trip.

Barry Simpson, racing manager to owner Sir Robert Ogden, said: “The best three on form were first, second and third so you’d have to say that was a very good run. I think he might step up a couple of furlongs now.”

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/19473/kazeem-is-back-with-a-bang

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