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There has been an NHA update in the case of an unrecorded prohibited substance being found in three horses during out of competition testing, which led to them being withdrawn from the races they were due to run in a couple of days later. 

The presence of the substance has been confirmed after being analysed in the Hong Kong Jockey Club laboratory, meaning the inquiry into the matter will go ahead.  

An August 4 NHA press release following out of competition testing stated:

Pending the results of the NHA Laboratory analysis, on-site observatory evidence along with evidence provided by the Officials and after careful consideration of the contents of the Veterinary Treatment Register (VTR), AXEL COLLINS, NAPOLEAN and YOURE MY SUNSHINE were withdrawn from race meeting on 27 July 2023 at 09h25, in terms of Rule 4.2.18. 

The NHA Laboratory, having conducted the requisite screening, has confirmed that specimens collected from AXEL COLLINS and YOURE MY SUNSHINE, revealed upon analysis the presence of four (4) prohibited substances, of which one (1) substance was not recorded in the Trainer’s VTR.  An Inquiry will be opened into the one (1) substance that was NOT recorded for each of the respective two horses. 

A press release today stated:

Following the Press Release on 4 August 2023 (below), concerning Out of Competition (OOC) specimen collection that took place at Randjesfontein Training Centre and Turffontein Racecourse on 24 July 2023, the NHA confirms that the respective parties associated with AXEL COLLINS and YOURE MY SUNSHINE exercised their rights in terms of the Rules and requested that the respective reference specimens be sent to a Laboratory for confirmatory analysis. 

As a result of a lack of consensus pertaining to the selection of a single confirmatory laboratory, the Chief Executive, pursuant to the provisions of Rule 75.7, nominated the Hong Kong Jockey Club Racing Laboratory to conduct the confirmatory analysis on the said specimens. 

In terms of the Rules, the reference specimens were dispatched to the nominated confirmatory laboratory on 21 August 2023, and this process was witnessed by Trainer Mr. A P Peter, his legal representative and other parties. On 25 August 2023, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Racing Laboratory confirmed having received the reference specimens. 

The NHA received written confirmation from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Racing Laboratory on Wednesday, 13 September 2023, that the specimens taken from AXEL COLLINS and YOURE MY SUNSHINE were analysed and the presence of the prohibited substance, Lidocaine was found to be present, unequivocally confirming the initial findings of The National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa’s Laboratory. 

An Inquiry will be held regarding this matter on a date to be confirmed.