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Yanworth failed a post-race dope test after running in the Champion Hurdle at this year’s Cheltenham Jay McClement Womens Jersey Festival and his trainer, Alan King, is facing the likelihood of disciplinary action. A hearing has been organised for Thursday by the British Horseracing Authority, though the sport’s ruling body was careful last night not to offer details about the charges King faces. It is not yet known what the banned substance found in Yanworth’s system was. However, the fact that he failed a test was confirmed by a source last night. No comment was offered by either the horse’s owner, JP McManus, or by King who, under racing’s rules, must bear responsibility for any such findingThe Champion Hurdle was the only race in which Yanworth was beaten during the last jumps season. He went to Cheltenham in March as the winner of his previous three races, started as the 2-1 favourite but finished only seventh, 14 lengths behind the Nicky Henderson-trained Buveur D’Air, who also carried McManus’s colours. Yanworth reappeared at Aintree’s Grand National meeting in April and returned to winning ways, landing his second Grade One of the season. However, he did so at the much longer distance of three miles and the generally accepted view is he lacked the pace to be competitive in the two-mile Champion Hurdle. Having won a Grade One race at a major Festival, Yanworth must also have been dope-tested after his Aintree success and it is believed he tested clear on that occasion. King faced a similar disciplinary hearing last year after his Midnight Cataria tested positive for the anti-inflammatory Triamcinolone Acetonide (TCA) the previous autumn, having run second in a handicap chase at Kempton. Racehorses may be treated with TCA so long as it has cleared their system by the day of any race in which they take part. It was agreed between the BHA and King that the source of the banned substance was an injection by King’s vet, who had been treating the horse for lameness. TCA should, according to the vet, have cleared the horse’s system in 21 days but in fact endured for 52 days. The BHA disqualified Midnight Cataria and fined King £1,000. It is believed the trainer is now at risk of a comparable punishment for Yanworth’s case unless he can provide evidence that exonerates him. Advertisement TCA was also the drug involved in the case of Any Currency, a winner at the Cheltenham Festival in 2016 who was subsequently disqualified after failing a dope test. On that occasion the BHA’s disciplinary panel opted not to impose a fine on the trainer Martin Keighley, ruling that, in allowing 41 days for the drug to clear his horse’s system before the raceday, he had “taken all reasonable measures” and that it was “exceptional” for TCA to still be in the horse’s system such a long time after injection. Keighley claimed that amounted to an official view that the team around Any Currency had done nothing wrong. “The treatment we put in was fine, we have just been unlucky,” he said at the time. “It is frustrating for everyone involved that we have lost the race, but we just need to move on.” Yanworth’s case is not thought to be of the same gravity as the case of Anseanachai Cliste, in the news this week as the BHA ponders what charges to offer against his Armagh-based trainer, Stephen McConville. The horse was ordered to be withdrawn from the Foxhunters Chase by the Cheltenham Festival stewards because they could not be satisfied he had received only normal food and water that day. Anseanachai Cliste went on to win the Ulster National nine days later, testing negative for any banned substance immediately after that race. There has been speculation that the BHA might still take another month or more before deciding how to handle the caseIt is BHA policy not to comment on ongoing investigations, but if Anseanachai Cliste is declared to run on Thursday, the regulator could come under pressure to use its powers under Rule 83 of the Rules of Racing to refuse to accept the declaration. The Authority used a sub-section of the same rule to prevent Gina Mangan, an inexperienced apprentice jockey, being declared to ride Diore Lia, a rank outsider, in the Derby at Epsom in early June, although the filly was subsequently scratched on the day of the race. Advertisement The Cheltenham Festival is jump racing’s showpiece event and the unusual circumstances surrounding Anseanachai Cliste’s withdrawal from this year’s Foxhunters’ will guarantee significant interest in any resulting disciplinary case. If Anseanachai Cliste is found to have been injected with a performance-enhancing substance in his box on 17 March, there could also be questions for the regulators both in Ireland and Britain as to how and why the gelding was allowed to continue racing once the results of the test were known. Contrary to a report in Tuesday’s Racing Post, which suggested a charge against McConville is “imminent”, it could be several weeks before the outcome of the BHA investigation becomes public. When contacted by the Guardian on Tuesday, McConville said that he was not able to confirm whether Anseanachai Cliste will be declared to run at Perth on Thursday. The nine-year-old had two possible engagements at Perth on Wednesday, in the featured £15,000 handicap chase and also in a three-mile handicap hurdle half an hour later, but was withdrawn from both at the overnight Authentic Michael Hoomanawanui Womens Jersey stage on Tuesday morning. He is also entered in the £8,000 Mackie’s Cream of the Crop Handicap Chase at Perth on Thursday afternoon


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