ERA Media Release - Mr Nicholas Bachalard

The ERA Stewards opened inquiries on Thursday 18th June 2020, into the notification by the Dubai Equine Forensic Unit (EFU) that the prohibited substance Cimetidine had been detected in the urine samples taken from;

• Inquiry 1 - MASAARR (USA), before it raced in, Race 2 “Jaguar XE (Div 1) Handicap” over 1600 metres at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday 20th February 2020.
• Inquiry 2 - RAAKEZZ (USA), after it raced in, Race 5 “Keenland Conditions” over 1400 metres at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Friday 21st February 2020.

Evidence was taken from Mr. Nicholas Bachalard (Trainer of MASAARR (USA) and RAAKEZZ (USA)), Dr. Zaki Al Ghumgham (Dubai Equine Hospital Veterinarian), Dr. Kieran Finn (ERA Regulatory Veterinarian) and Dr. Michael Subhahar (Chief Analyst – Dubai Equine Forensic Unit). The following matters were established;

1. On Sunday 1st March 2020, the ERA Stewards were advised of the irregularities to Cimetidine in respect to the pre-race urine sample taken from MASAARR (USA) and post-race urine sample taken from RAAKEZZ (USA).
2. On Monday 2nd March 2020, Mr. N Bachalard was notified of the irregularities in the samples taken from MASAARR (USA) and RAAKEZZ (USA) via an official stable visit at his Jebel Ali Stables. Mr. N Bachalard stated that the majority of horses in his care, including MASAARR (USA) and RAAKEZZ (USA) had been routinely administered Cimetidine and Carafate, to treat gastric ulcers. He further advised that he ceased using both substances in his stable after the ERA had conducted an inspection on Tuesday 18th February, 2020. The reason for the stable inspection on Tuesday 18th February, 2020, was due to two horses from other stables returning irregularities to Cimetidine from the race-meeting conducted at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Friday 7th February, 2020. During this inspection it was established that as the resident trainer at Jebel Ali Stables, Mr. N Bachalard had been stabling his horses in the race-day stabling area, when racing was not being conducted at Jebel Ali Racecourse.
3. During the stable visit, Mr. N Bachalard advised that he wished to exercise his right to have the reserve portion of both samples analysed by another accredited racing laboratory in accordance with ERA Rule 95D(ii).
4. On Monday 16th March 2020, the ERA Stewards received confirmation from LCH the laboratory in France, that the presence of Cimetidine was detected in the “B” urine sample from MASAARR (USA).
5. On Tuesday 17th March 2020, the ERA Stewards received confirmation from LCH the laboratory in France, that the presence of Cimetidine was detected in the “B” urine sample from RAAKEZZ (USA).
6. Evidence was tendered by Dr. K Finn that Cimetidine is a histamine H2 receptor antagonist that inhibits stomach acid production and when present in a race-day sample is considered to be a prohibited substance under the ERA Rules of Racing. Cimetidine undergoes relatively little metabolism within the mammalian body system and is mostly excreted unchanged through the urine. It is recommended not to administer Cimetidine with other antacids, rather stagger the administration of the antacid for two hours. The horses under treatment at the Jebel Ali Stables were simultaneously administered Cimetidine and Carafate, an antacid, via an oral syringe. As such, it was suggested that a large amount of Cimetidine would have been excreted unchanged from the horses under treatment, contaminating the area they were stabled in.
7. Evidence was tendered by Dr. M Subhahar that the sample provide by MASAARR (USA) returned a medium level of Cimetidine and the sample provided RAAKEZZ (USA) returned low levels of Cimetidine.
8. As referenced in “Point 2” on Tuesday 18th February 2020, the ERA Stewards conducted an inspection at the Jebel Ali Racecourse and interviewed Mr. N Bachalard. Mr. N Bachalard explained that he had been stabling horses in the race day “Barn Boxes” as he was cleaning the air conditioning units of his regular stables. Further, 7 of the 10 horses stabled in the “Barn Boxes” were actively being treated with Cimetidine and Carafate. Subsequent to the Jebel Ali race-meeting on Friday 7th February 2020, two runners from other trainers, which had been stabled in the “Barn Boxes” at that race-meeting were found to have traces of Cimetidine in their system. At a subsequent Stewards inquiry on Tuesday 10th March 2020, the ERA Stewards were comfortably satisfied that the “Barn Boxes” where both MURRAY RIVER (USA) and STORYBOARD (USA) had been stabled on race-day was contaminated with Cimetidine.

Trainer Mr. N Bachalard pled guilty to a charge under the provisions of ERA Rule 95AAA 2, in that he presented and raced MASAARR (USA) in race 2 “Jaguar XE (Div 1) Handicap” over 1600 metres at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday 20th February 2020, when the pre-race urine sample taken from MASAARR (USA), upon analysis, was found to have had administered to it Cimetidine, a prohibited substance under the ERA Rules.

Further, Mr. N Bachalard pled guilty to a charge under the provisions of ERA Rule 95AAA 2, in that he presented and raced RAAKEZZ (USA) in race 5 “Keenland Conditions” over 1400 metres at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Friday 21st February 2020, when the post-race urine sample taken from RAAKEZZ (USA), upon analysis, was found to have had administered to it Cimetidine, a prohibited substance under the ERA Rules.

In determining the appropriate penalty in this case, the Stewards considered a number of factors including:
• The circumstances of the offence;
• Cimetidine is a non-performance enhancing substance;
• The administration of Cimetidine was documented in the stable’s medication log books;
• The administration of Cimetidine was outside the ERA recommended withdrawal period for the substance;
• General and specific deterrence;
• The integrity and image of racing in the UAE;
• Mr. N Bachalard’s forthright evidence and co-operation throughout the inquiry;
• Mr. N Bachalard’s guilty pleas and record in relation to the prohibited substance rules (see below).

Mr. N Bachalard was fined the sum of AED 40,000.

Pursuant to ERA 86(ii), MASAARR (USA) was disqualified from fourth place in Race 2, “Jaguar XE (Div 1) Handicap” over 1600 metres at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday 20th February 2020, and the placings were adjusted to:

Finish Place Horse Name Trainer Jockey
1st CLIFFS OF CAPRI (GB) Jamie Osborne Tadhg O’Shea
2nd MOQTARREB (GB) Ali Rashid Al Rayhi Jim Crowley
3rd MAJOR PARTNERSHIP (IRE) Saeed bin Suroor Kevin Stott
4th GOOD FORTUNE (GB) Charlie Appleby William Buick
5th FREESCAPE (GB) David Marnane Patrick Dobbs
6th MOTAFAAWIT (IRE) Doug Watson Dane O’Neill

Pursuant to ERA 86(ii), RAAKEZZ (USA) was disqualified as the dual winner in Race 5, “Keenland Conditions” over 1400 metres at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Friday 21st February 2020, and the placings were adjusted to:

Finish Place Horse Name Trainer Jockey
1st ATTRIBUTION (USA) Salem bin Ghadayer Xavier Ziani
2nd CHINA ROAD (USA) Rashed Bouresly Bernardo Pinheiro
3rd MAJOR CINNAMON (USA) Mujeeb Rahman Patrick Cosgrave
4th PUZZLE ELEGANCE (USA) Helal Al Alawi Szczepan Mazur
5th MAMBO MISCHIEF (USA) Ahmed bin Harmash Connor Beasley

Mr. N Bachalard’s record in relation to prohibited substance:
• Two positive samples when training in Saudi Arabia (3rd January 2015 and 19th January 2018). On both occasions the positive sample was described as a Class 4 Prohibited Substance, which incurred a penalty of a suspension of his license and a monetary fine.

Relevant Rules:
ERA 86(ii) – Where any declared runner has been the subject of an examination under the Rules 8(vi) and or (vii) and has been found to have received a Prohibited Substances, the Horse shall be disqualified from the Race and from other Races as the ERA determines.

ERA Rule 95AAA 2 – Any Trainer or other Person in charge of a Horse, which is presented to Race or performed a Test, or has Raced or performed a Test which is found (upon analysis) to have had administered to it a Prohibited Substance, shall be liable to a Penalty.

ERA Rules 95D(ii) – Upon the detection by an Accredited Racing Laboratory of a Prohibited Substance in the Sample from a Horse, such laboratory shall notify its finding to the Stewards, who shall then notify the Trainer of the Horse of such finding and give him the option to have the reserve portion of the Sample Tested at another ERA-approved Accredited Racing Laboratory. The Trainer will have 3 days to notify the Stewards of such requirement. A refusal by the Trainer to Test the reserve portion of the Sample shall not prevent the Stewards from having the reserve portion of the Sample Tested.

Stewards Panel:
Mr. Sam Shinsky (Chairman), Mr. Taylor Wilson and Ajay Anne.