While We Are winning a group I race despite suffering from a large ovarian tumor would seemingly serve as the latest of many examples of courage in the Thoroughbred, French officials do not see it that way.
Sticking to the letter of the law, France Galop officials have disqualified George Strawbridge's homebred We Are from her May 25 victory in the Pour Moi Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary (Fr-I) because she raced with excessively high testosterone levels. Racing Post reports that because French officials acknowledge the high testosterone levels were caused by a tumor, they will not take action against Strawbridge or trainer Freddy Head.
Officials also disqualified We Are, an Irish-bred daughter of Dansili, from a May 1 victory at Saint-Cloud.
Increased testosterone in the system is a well-established side effect of ovarian tumors.
Head and Strawbridge said in a joint statement that subsequent lab tests have established that the sole reason testosterone was present in the filly was because of the tumor. The positive test led to vets searching for an explanation of the high testosterone level and the tumor was discovered.
We Are's connections told Racing Post that she has had successful surgery to remove the tumor, which even after it was shrunk, was the size of an orange.
In the statement, the connections said they would not appeal the decision to disqualify the filly. The decision means the Aga Khan's Prix Saint-Alary runner-up Vazira, a daughter of Sea The Stars, will be declared the winner.
"Mr. Strawbridge has been in racing a long time and is very much a gentleman and decided to accept the outcome and hopes the filly can reassert herself," Strawbridge's racing manager, James Wigan, told Racing Post.
In recent years, Strawbridge has pushed for medication reform in the U.S.