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Racehorse Owned by Queen Elizabeth II Fails Drug Test

A racehorse owned by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II that won the prestigious Gold Cup at Royal Ascot last year has tested positive for the banned painkiller, morphine. The British Horseracing Authority announced last week that tests on five horses under the care of various trainers showed the presence of morphine in their `A' samples.

On Tuesday, the queen's bloodstock and racing adviser, John Warren, said that the monarch's five-year-old filly Estimate was one of the five. Buckingham Palace said that early indications suggest that Estimate consumed the substance as a result of contaminated feed.Warren said in a statement that Estimate's trainer Michael Stoute "is working closely with the feed company involved to discover how the product may have become contaminated prior to delivery to his stables."

Estimate finished second in this year's Gold Cup behind Leading Light. Warren added: "Her Majesty has been informed of the situation."

Previously, Britain's most publicized case of a horse testing positive for morphine was Be My Royal after he had won the 2002 Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury. The horse was subsequently disqualified.

Image: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II stands beside her horse, Estimate, in the winner's enclosure after it won the Gold Cup on the third day of Royal Ascot, in Berkshire, west of London
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II stands beside her horse, Estimate, in the winner's enclosure after it won the Gold Cup on the third day of Royal Ascot, in Berkshire, west of London on June 20, 2013. CARL COURT / AFP - Getty Images

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- The Associated Press