On the eve of the first Classics of the season, racing was rocked last night by one of the biggest doping scandals of modern times when the British Horseracing Authority announced that 11 horses, all trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni under Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin banner in Newmarket, have tested positive for steroids.
The immediate consequence is that the 11 horses have been banned from running and one, Certify, the unbeaten filly who is vying for favouritism for the 1,000 Guineas, will miss the fillies’ Classic at Newmarket.
The long-term the implications for Al Zarooni are serious. While Godolphin might one day just recover from the taint this brings to Sheikh Mohammed’s organisation, Al Zarooni is facing a long or possibly lifetime ban from the sport after admitting administering prohibited substances to his horses. His employment prospects within Godolphin must be under threat.
This is a clear indication that even the wealthiest of stables can not always produce the goods!!!!!!
HP News caught up with Race Trainer Paddy Shrimpton who heads the more modest 'Mules Stable' in Houston, Texas.
'Some of these big racing teams bring too much pressure on themselves. There is an expectation from the owners, Sponsors and anyone else that buys into such regimes'
The Mules are a million Miles away from such stables as Newmarket, Sky, and Orica Green Pastures but they feel they have got it right.
Paddy Shrimpton again.
'Our stables are empty on events day with all taking part in various events around the globe.
Somebody has to come first and somebody last but participation is equally important.
Without an event there are no positions to be gained'.
The only stimulus our entries get are Gatorade and Mule Bars
Paddy a colourful character speaks modestly as recent results show that this approach has its merits.
Within the Mules Stable there is actually some real class.
Meridith Bunkers a young promising Filly is new to the Mule stable but has already shown off the Mules colours in the winners enclosure - competing and winning the Houston Grand Criterium
Cat 3 is surely within reach now
Meridith on the Top Podium Step in full Mule Livery -
'We are so proud' Paddy Shrimpton
Paul Wakefield has been racing for sometime in the highly competitive men's Crit racing and has a handful of podium finishes.
Paddy has the last word:-
I don't want to comment on dolphins they belong in the sea not stables.
I just want to talk about my Mules.
All of our stable are special, we are like a big family.