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Trainer Annabel Neasham found herself in hot water this week as it was found that her stable star and recent winner of her maiden Group 1 victory, Zaaki had returned a positive sample from a recent race

Neasham runner tests positive for banned substance

The British import had burst onto the scene in recent weeks with emphatic wins during the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival which saw him win Group 2 races The Hollindale Stakes and more recently The Q22.

His biggest achievement was without doubt the demolition job in the Doomben Cup where he won by over 7 lengths against a competitive field. 

The race the Racing NSW stewards were interested in however was a run prior to these in the Group 3 JRA Plate where Zaaki finished second to Paths Of Glory.

Neasham released a statement after the findings and in response to receiving a $7000 fine as a result of the positive finding. 

“Today I attended an inquiry with Racing NSW stewards after being informed that our star galloper Zaaki had returned a positive pre-race sample to the anti-inflammatory meloxicam, after his second-placed performance in the G3 JRA Plate at Randwick on April 24. His post-race urine sample returned a negative result,” Neasham said.

“I am extremely disappointed to get this news, not only because it undermines the standard of integrity and professionalism the stable represents and that everyone in the team strives to achieve, but also for Zaaki’s owners who are great friends and supporters.

“Meloxicam is a widely-used veterinarian-prescribed therapeutic medication that is given to horses as an anti-inflammatory, and often given post galloping. Zaaki was routinely given the treatment after his final Tuesday gallop, as is common practice for many stables. Subsequently, the results that have been returned from his wins in Queensland were negative.

“I have the utmost respect for the Racing NSW stewards and their integrity process and accept full responsibility for this unfortunate result. It is a steep learning curve, and to mitigate future risk I will be reviewing all our processes to ensure this does not happen again, which will include lowering our dosage level of meloxicam.

“I look forward to moving past this and continuing to develop the record and reputation of the stable.”

As stated by Neasham all Zaaki’s runs in QLD returned negative and the import is free to continue racing with the Cox Plate favourite on course for a huge spring campaign.

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