No comment from BHA on Cliste

A general view of Cheltenham

The British Horseracing Authority has refused to comment on the ongoing investigation into the withdrawal of Anseanachai Cliste from the Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Trained in Northern Ireland by Stephen McConville, the nine-year-old won eight successive point-to-points prior to his arrival at Prestbury Park in March.

He was withdrawn from the Foxhunter Chase by order of the stewards, with a BHA report stating they "could not be satisfied that the horse had been administered only normal feed and water on race day".

When contacted, a spokesman for the BHA said: "This is an ongoing investigation and the BHA cannot comment on ongoing investigations."

Nine days after his Cheltenham withdrawal, Anseanachai Cliste won the Ulster National at Downpatrick, after which McConville said: "I wouldn't like to talk about Cheltenham at the moment.

"We'll see after the inquiry. We are here to enjoy the day. Please God it works out well."

McConville could not be contacted on Monday.

Denis Egan, chief executive of the Turf Club in Ireland, confirmed he was aware of the inquiry.

Egan told Press Association Sport: "There is really nothing from our end. We are aware there is an inquiry going on and as far as we are concerned, we are waiting for that outcome.

"The horse has run here on several occasions and no issues have arisen from any of the horse's runs.

"If there is a penalty that is imposed, it would go to a committee to decide if it is reciprocated here as every matter is dealt with case by case.

"I've never come across this sort of case before, but we have had cases of Irish licensees getting into difficulty with the BHA before and we have always dealt with them on an individual basis."

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