Racing: Al Zarooni drops appeal against ban

Mahmood Al Zarooni: Decided to drop his appeal against ban. Picture: Reuters
Mahmood Al Zarooni: Decided to drop his appeal against ban. Picture: Reuters
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Mahmood Al Zarooni has dropped his appeal against an eight-year ban from training for doping racehorses.

The 37-year-old, who trained for Godolphin owner and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at Newmarket, was last month found guilty of administering anabolic steroids to 15 horses. Seven further horses trained by Al Zarooni, including 2012 St Leger winner Encke, have tested positive for anabolic steroid stanozolol since he was found guilty.

“The BHA has received notice from the solicitors of Mahmood Al Zarooni that he has withdrawn his appeal regarding his eight-year disqualification,” the British Horse Racing Authority said in a statement yesterday.

At Hamilton Park today, Eric Alston saddles two top-weights as he mounts a strong raid from his base near Preston.

Spavento is first up in the Prestige Scotland Fillies Handicap as she bids to land the extended mile event for the second year running. Alston said: “She got up close home to win by a neck last season and she 
always runs well at Hamilton. She surprised us when she won at Newcastle in April as she hadn’t raced since last July. David Allan gets on really well with her and she’s won most of her races with him on board.”

Chester Aristocrat also makes the journey north and he concedes weight to eight rivals in the Equi’s ‘Equine Golden Stirrup’ Flavour Handicap (£15,000 Betfair Scottish Sprint Final Qualifier). Alston added: “He’s never been to Hamilton before and he has a 6lb penalty for winning at Haydock on Saturday. It’s a lot of weight but Jason Hart’s claim helps reduce it. He’s in great order and has come out of the Haydock race really well.”

Among those taking on Chester Aristocrat is the Alan Berry-trained Economic Crisis, who has achieved all her three career wins at Hamilton Park.

She won over course and distance earlier this month and carries the red and yellow colours of locally-born Tom Blane who is now based in Southport.

At Sandown, Luca Cumani is hoping conditions do not deteriorate ahead of Danadana’s bid for glory in the Cantor Fitzgerald Brigadier Gerard Stakes. The winner of three good handicaps last season, Danadana took his game to another level in a winning seasonal return in the Huxley Stakes at Chester earlier this month. He gives weight to each of today’s five opponents – including last year’s Investec Derby runner-up Main Sequence – and Cumani admits his charge may need to improve again.

“The horse is very well,” said Cumani. “I am just hoping the ground isn’t too soft. If it is like it was at Chester, that would be OK, but he wouldn’t want it much deeper.”

SELECTIONS

Hamilton

2.10 Please Let Me Go

2.40 Royal Opera

3.10 Ichimoku

3.40 Spavento

4.10 Jinky

4.40 Yeomanoftheguard

5.10 Alcaeus (nap)

Brighton

2.30 Brigh

3.00 Hill Of Dreams

3.30 Dodina

4.00 Noverre To Go

4.30 Monumental Man

5.00 My Sweet Lord

5.30 Yojojo

Lingfield

2.20 Booktheband

2.50 Minstrel Lad

3.20 Little Indian

3.50 Huffoof

4.20 Phaenomena

4.50 Rose Gloria

5.20 Gift Of Music

5.55 Copperwood

Sandown

6.10 Syncopate

6.40 Autumns Blush

7.15 Model Pupil

7.50 Main Sequence

8.20 Ebn Arab

8.50 Spa’s Dancer

Wetherby

6.00 Mrs Peachey

6.30 Seven Woods

7.00 Academy General

7.35 Western Gale

8.10 Get Home Now

8.40 Rash Move

9.10 Turn The Tide

Double

Alcaeus

5:10 Hamilton

Main Sequence

7:50 Sandown