Royal Horse Estimate Positive for Morphine

October 14, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. prohibited /proʊˈhɪb ɪtid/ (adj.) – banned or illegal
Example: The contestant was disqualified in the race for using a prohibited drug.

2. contamination /kənˌtæm əˈneɪ ʃən/ (n.) – the state of having dirty, poisonous, or harmful substance/s
Example: The authorities are investigating the bacterial contamination of feed products in the municipality.

3. look into /lʊk ɪn tʊ/ (v.) – to investigate or get details about something
Example: The veterinarians are looking into the causes of deaths of the sheep in the area.

4. stable /ˈsteɪ bəl/ (n.) – a place where farm animals are placed and fed
Example: A horse’s stable should be well-maintained to ensure the animal’s health.

5. forfeit /ˈfɔr fɪt/ (v.) – to give up or lose something as part of a violation’s punishment
Example: The multi-million company forfeited the athlete’s contract due to his misbehavior.


Read the text below.
Buckingham Palace has announced that Queen Elizabeth II’s award-winning horse, Estimate, tested positive for the prohibited drug morphine.

Estimate, trained by Michael Stoute [stout], was Royal Ascot’s Gold cup winner last year and runner-up this year. The queen’s racing advisor named John Warren confirmed that one of the five horses that tested positive for the drug morphine was Estimate.

The contamination of the feed product given to Estimate was said to be the reason why the horse tested positive for morphine. This has been backed by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). 

The BHA is now looking into this case as well as other cases that might have been connected to the matter, and Sir Stoute has expressed his full cooperation to the case. In addition, he puts an effort to work with the feed company involved to track how the product was contaminated before its delivery to the stables.

A disciplinary panel will decide whether or not to impose sanctions after the processes have been completed, according to the BHA. A sanction could mean disqualification of the horses involved. If that is the case, Queen Elizabeth’s royal horse could be taken off the second prize award and the queen herself would be forfeited of the prize money of £80,625.

In the 2002 Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, the horse Be My Royal was also stripped of the award after testing positive for the drug morphine. It was also due to the contaminated feed product.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think the horses that tested positive for morphine should be disqualified? Why or why not?
·         What will be the effect of this scandal on the racing competition as a whole?

Discussion B

·         How can the authorities stop the use of morphine during race competitions?
·         Why do you think some trainers give prohibited drugs to their horses?

October 14, 2014