Newmarket: British Horseracing Authority (BHA) chief executive Paul Bittar will do all he can to keep Godolphin in town

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and the driving force behind Godolphin, has be

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and the driving force behind Godolphin, has been urged to remain in Newmarket by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). - Credit: PA

THE head of horse racing’s governing body last night said he will do everything in his power to keep the Godolphin stables in Newmarket following the doping furore.

Fears are mounting that Godolphin – led by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – may quit the town after his trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni was banned for eight years for administering anabolic steroids to 15 horses in his care.

And it was revealed on Monday Newmarket trainer Gerard Butler is under British Horseracing Authority (BHA) investigation after samples from five of his horses were found to contain an anabolic steroid.

Mr Butler says it was recommended by a vet and had been checked by the BHA.

Newmarket councillor and horse trainer John Berry yesterday warned Godolphin “might get fed up with it all and walk away”.

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But Paul Bittar, chief executive of the BHA, last night said: “Sheikh Mohammed has been a great benefactor to the sport and part of our responsibility is to encourage him to remain very heavily involved in Britain – and Newmarket in particular. I suspect that this has been a very significant embarrassment to him and there must be some loss of face, but we’ll be doing everything we can to encourage him to be as integral to the sport as he has been for so many years.”

Godolphin said it was unable to comment “due to the ongoing inquiry”.

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