AMERICAN trainer Jason Servis began a four-year jail sentence this week having pleased guilty to using unapproved drugs on his racehorses.

Servis is best known as the trainer of Maximum Security, first past the post in the 2019 Kentucky Derby (demoted due to causing interference) and the winner of the first $20m Saudi Cup in 2020. Although Maximum Security passed the post-race drugs test in Saudi Arabia, the prize money for that race was withheld when Servis was charged just a week later by the US authorities over the use of illegal substances.

Sending Servis to jail and ordering him to pay $500,000 in forfeits and fines, Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil said to the defendant: “You have undermined the integrity of the sport of horse racing. You cheated. You lied, and you broke the law.”

The 66-year-old former trainer told the court: “I will live with this for the rest of my life, and I’m most truly sorry.”

Prosecuting attorney Damian Williams said: “This sends a clear signal to those in the racehorse industry that no one is above the law. Endangering the welfare of animals for profit will not be tolerated. Illegally doping racehorses is a serious crime that will be met with a serious sentence.”