A TOP trainer was left totally stunned after bosses barred his heavily-backed horse from running just two minutes before a race.
Sean Curran was 'flabbergasted' after being informed Aces Full could not compete at Exeter on Tuesday.
Stewards ordered the horse be withdrawn after the British Horseracing Authority's integrity department requested to interview connections.
Aces Full, who had not run since being pulled up on October 3, was backed from 14-1 all the way into 9-4.
The eight-year-old had not won in five attempts and was trying to break his duck in a 2m3f Class 5 contest.
But he was sensationally pulled out and Curran admitted he had no idea why.
He told the Racing Post: "I am shocked and flabbergasted at what has happened and I don’t know why it’s been done.
"As far as I know I have not broken any rules. The horse is owned by my cousin Joe English but has been leased to me.
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"He runs under my other name John Curran and I pay all the entry fees and jockey fees.
"It’s strange that there was no problem when he ran under my name last time and it makes me think the BHA has just taken action this time because the bookmakers have been concerned about the gamble.
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"I have put a lot of work into this horse and all that time and money has been wasted now.
"I thought he would win today, although I was a little concerned by the horrible weather at Exeter.
"Joe would have backed the horse I'm sure, but he’s retired so I don’t believe he would have had a lot of money on.
"We are not a big stable and we need winners like this to make ends meet."
Mark Scully, a spokesman for the BHA, said: "We are unable to provide any further details on this matter at the present time."
Stewards asked Curran, who was a successful jockey with more than 150 winners, why he had decided to place the horse in this particular race.
He was also quizzed on his expectations for the horse and the riding instructions, given the alarming gamble on Aces Full.
The gelding's best finish was when he came sixth on rules debut in a 2m chase at Naas in March 2021.
He was beaten 36 lengths on that occasion and in three subsequent runs finished no better than seventh, beaten a combined 206 lengths.
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