British Trainer Mitchell Latest Hit With Clenbuterol Positive

Trainers in Britain are upset about a series of clenbuterol positives which have led to disqualifications by the Jockey Club which has a no tolerance drug policy.

The trainers say horses were withdrawn from treatment, usually for breathing problems, well within the established guidelines but still tested positive.

Epsom-based trainer Philip Mitchell became the latest to be hit with a fine (£600) when Joe Bear was disqualified from first in the Joe Jennings Bookmakers Rated Stakes at Newmarket on July 18.

The Jockey Club Disciplinary Committee, on Dec. 4, decided that clenbuterol was present in the horse's urine. The source was a course of Ventipulmin which was being given to Joe Bear on veterinary advice between July 4 and 8.

Two weeks beforehand, the Amanda Perrett-trained Tillerman, owned by champion owner Khalid Abdullah, lost his group I Queen Anne Stakes (Royal Ascot) second after a similar hearing.

The same owner's 2-year-old Three Valleys, trained by Roger Charlton, is set to become the first horse since 1989 Oaks winner Aliysa to be disqualified from a British group I race if the finding of clenbuterol after his Middle Park Stakes victory at Newmarket is confirmed by tests on the B sample. Other cases are also in the pipeline to be heard.

The recommended withdrawal time is between six and a half and eight days but trainers err on the side of caution, allowing longer before races, but to no avail in these cases.