Nicky Henderson faces an anxious wait to learn whether a £40,000 fine, the biggest ever handed to a trainer, plus a three-month ban for using a prohibited substance on a horse owned by The Queen will jeopardise his royal patronage.
As more details of the case emerged yesterday, Sir Michael Oswald, who manages the royal National Hunt horses, said: 'We are disappointed. We need to read the findings and take everything in before any decisions are made.'
The financial penalty dished out by the British Horseracing Authority is twice the previous highest given to Newmarket trainer Michael Wigham last year for breaches of the non-triers rules.
Henderson will have his final runners next week before his ban (July 11 to October 10) starts.
It comes at a relatively quiet time for the Lambourn trainer – he only had 11 jumps runners over the same period last year – but the stain on the reputation of the two-time champion is most damaging.
While falling well short of the maximum possible ban of five years, evidence uncovered by BHA investigations was damning.
It showed more widespread raceday use of clotting agent Tranexamic Acid going beyond the positive test on unplaced Moonlit Path at Huntingdon on February 19, significantly increasing the gravity of the case.
A 'systemic omission' of this information from the Henderson stable medical book was seen as proof that the trainer knew he was breaking guidelines that only allowed food and water on raceday.
The panel concluded: 'The real vice of the conduct here was that this was but one example of the use of a prohibitive substance,' of which there had been a 'systematic attempt' to conceal.
Henderson, who won over £2million in prizemoney last season with the win of Punjabi in the Champion Hurdle the highlight, is listed as training seven of The Queen's horses, including last season's Cheltenham Gold Cup runner Barbers Shop.
The BHA panel did accept he had given Tranexamic Acid to Moonlit Path, a horse with a history of breaking blood vessels, with welfare-based motives but said that he had still breached Rule 200 which deals with prohibited performance- enhancing substances.
Henderson said: 'I am obviously hugely relieved that this saga has been concluded and, even though the sentence seems harsh, accept the findings.'