Top trainer Aidan O’Brien counting the cost of Arc non-runners

Aidan O'Brien is counting the cost of withdrawing his runners from the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

The Irish trainer took Mogul, Japan, Serpentine and Sovereign out of the Longchamp feature, where they were trying to thwart Enable's historic hat-trick bid.

None of the quartet will be competing after they tested positive for banned substance zilpaterol – believed to be from feed supplied by Gain Equine Nutrition.

O'Brien and his sons Joseph and Donnacha pulled their horses from Sunday's prestigious card, following the results of samples from a French laboratory.

"I feel sorry for the lads," O'Brien senior told racing programme Luck On Sunday.

"They put so much in and the cost is incredible.

"Everyone's working so hard to try to breed the horses, to sell the horses, to train them, to race them.

"They put in so much to get the horses to this stage, they try and make it happen, I feel so sorry for them. I hope we're all able to work it out.

"This morning it is very quiet here."

Serpentine was supplemented for the Arc at a cost of 72,000 Euros earlier this week, while Donnacha O'Brien's Fancy Blue was one of the family's other leading contenders during the afternoon in the Prix de l'Opera.

St Mark's Basilica, Mother Earth, Pretty Gorgeous, Laburnum, Speak in Colours and Lope Y Fernandez are the others that will not be taking part.

Gain Equine Nutrition said in a statement: "The team at GAIN Equine Nutrition are hugely disappointed to learn that some of our customers have withdrawn their horses from important equine events this weekend, including the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

"We are equally disappointed for all of our valued equine feed customers across Ireland, the UK, France and elsewhere who we advised on Friday to refrain from feeding our products until we fully investigated the source of potential contamination of our equine feed products.

"The contaminant, Zilpaterol, is a synthetic beta-agonist approved for use as a performance-enhancer in some beef production systems outside of the EU.

"It is important to stress that this synthetic substance has never formed part of any formulation in any of our animal nutrition ranges.

"Intensive testing of our equine feed ranges, batches and individual ingredients has been underway around the clock since this issue first emerged in France."

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