Olivier Doleuze was ruled out of Singapore’s biggest day of the year May 17 when a urine sample given by the French jockey taken at Happy Valley May 14 turned up positive to an unspecified prohibited substance.
Stipendiary stewards of the Hong Kong Jockey Club were advised by Dr. Terence Wan See-Ming, head of the club’s racing laboratory, of the test result at 11.45am, less than four hours before the starts of the Singapore Airlines International Cup program at Kranji.
Doleuze was unavailable for comment but it’s understood he believes the irregularity has occurred through a diet or weight loss product he has been taking.
Jockey Club chief stipendiary steward Jamie Stier decided it would be “inappropriate” to make the analyst’s finding public at this stage and would not comment when pressed further on the nature of the offending substance.
Doleuze had gone to Singapore to ride favorite Balius in the group I SIA Cup, and was also scheduled to ride Sanziro for trainer Caspar Fownes in the S.1-million KrisFlyer Sprint.
Once stewards stood him down from competition pending an inquiry into the analyst’s finding, Brett Prebble gained the ride on Balius in the Cup and Singapore-based Australian Danny Beasley took over on Sanziro.
Jockey Club chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said a call advising him of Doleuze’s drug positive was the first call to reach his mobile after he touched down at Singapore’s Changi airport.
“It took the shine off my day, I don’t mind saying, but other than that there is nothing I can say at this time. It’s just very disappointing,” Engelbrecht-Bresges said.
Singapore chief steward Peter Chadwick said he took the call from Hong Kong around midday, advising of Doleuze’s changed status. “It was not the sort of call we wanted to receive on our biggest day of the year, but once the Hong Kong stewards had made their call, it was effectively out of our hands,” Chadwick said.
Doleuze did not attend the Singapore meeting, choosing to stay at the hotel. It’s understood he was seeking an earlier flight back to Hong Kong.
Regardless of where the inquiry ultimately ends up, and independent of his guilt or innocence, the positive drug finding comes at a very inopportune time as far as connections of champion miler Good Ba Ba are concerned.
Owner John Yuen Se-kit and trainer Andreas Schutz have been working with Jockey Club and Japan Racing Association officials to get Doleuze invited to Tokyo for the group I Yasuda Kinen June 8.
Doleuze was disqualified for six months by HKJC stewards in April 2003, after testing positive to cocaine, but avoided any civil action under Hong Kong’s stringent drug laws.
However, that cloud over his record was the reason Japan would not allow him entry to ride Good Ba Ba in the Yasuda Kinen 12 months ago, and Eric Saint-Martin deputized.
Because Good Ba Ba has just completed a clean sweep of the major mile races, he is the number one drawing card for this years’s Yasuda Kinen and the recent development will put the trip in grave doubt.