My three demands to the BHA in wake of Bryony Frost vs Robbie Dunne – and Medina Spirit, drug tests and chaos for racing

BRYONY FROST was bullied by Robbie Dunne. In that few would argue.

And even less would argue that it is something that can be forgiven.

As the public continue to rage about the situation, I ask for three things…

1 – The BHA disclose all of former BHA Integrity big gun Chris Watts’ examinations of the case and all his interviews. Every single one. Not ones he might have selectively put forward during the case.

2 – The BHA – in the public interest of the sport – reveal why Watts left the BHA. There is no choice if it believes in integrity.

3 – Once again I call for BHA to start the process of an independent review into weighing room culture.

Meanwhile, the sad story of the now dead Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit encapsulates the chaos caused to the Sport of Kings by a failed drugs test.

In reality, there may not be much skulduggery involved with Medina Spirit, who in May was being hailed a hero as he powered to victory at Churchill Downs.

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But the joy of that success for trainer Bob Baffert – arguably the most famous handler in the US – soon turned to misery.

Following the victory, Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone, a legal medication that is not allowed on race day.

It was Baffert's record seventh win in the Derby. In the wake of the positive, Baffert was suspended by Churchill Downs and barred from entering horses in the 2022 and 2023 Kentucky Derbies.

He also was banned by the New York Racing Association from entering horses at its Belmont, Saratoga and Aqueduct tracks.


Oddly, Medina Spirit has yet to be actually disqualified, and it's easy to argue Baffert was far from guilty of a terrible crime.

You might be surprised I say that, but recently we learned that tests done by a New York lab 'definitely confirmed' Medina Spirit had not been injected with anything but had been cursed by an ointment used to treat a skin rash.

Some might see that as an act of kindness.

However, rules are rules and Baffert broke them.

Last week Medina Spirit collapsed and died after a workout at Santa Anita.

The three-year-old – second in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Del Mar last month – had just completed five furlongs in a workout.

Baffert said: "My entire barn is devastated by this news. Medina Spirit was a great champion, a member of our family who was loved by all, and we are deeply mourning his loss.

"I will always cherish the proud and personal memories of Medina Spirit and his tremendous spirit."

I'm sure Baffert is sincere, but to many this will be a case of 'drugged horse dies'.

Officials at Santa Anita realised that, and were quick to react.

They released a statement saying the track veterinary team took blood, hair and urine samples from Medina Spirit and sent them to the California Horse Racing Board.


The colt will undergo a full necropsy to try to determine the exact cause of death.

Medina Spirit may have had a heart attack. But why that happened might never be answered.

And while it might be putting two and two together and making five, there will be many quick to put the blame at Baffert's foot.

This just goes to show the damage done by failed drugs tests in a sport that needs to be seen to be squeaky clean.

Bettors need confidence, while horse lovers will always want to see animals treated with absolute care and attention.

If either of those two necessities are lost then the game will shudder to a halt.

Baffert is a serial offender when it comes to drug problems.

And while his sinning with Medina Spirit probably wouldn't have got Dick Francis that agitated, the horse's passing will only have made matters much worse for the man who has made landing the Triple Crown look easy.

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