By Andy Stephens at Ascot
The superstitious connections of Beat The Bank came under scrutiny from the BHA on Champions Day after apparently spraying Holy Water on their horse before he ran in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
They had hoped the liquid, blessed by a religious figure and used in many religions for protection against evil, would help the four-year-old lift the £1.1 million prize.
However, Beat The Bank, owned by Leicester’s owner-chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, never figured and trailed home tenth after being sent off at 4-1.
The Stable Inspecting Officer reported that he had been informed that a substance had been sprayed on Beat The Bank when the gelding was in the saddling boxes.
As a consequence Andrew Balding, the trainer, his travelling head lad and a Stipendiary Steward were interviewed.
Balding’s explanation was that, “he believed the substance to be water which had been sprayed by the owner for good luck” was noted and a report was forwarded to the Head Office of the BHA.
The substance was sent for analysis and, in addition, Beat The Bank was routine tested.