Spring carnival set for shake up
Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival, including the Melbourne Cup, is set for the biggest shake up in its recent history when Racing Victoria releases its international injury report on Wednesday.
The report is set to shape how overseas horses participate in some of our biggest races and the processes to make sure they are fit enough to compete in the race.
Racing.com understands the report, which has been conducted by RV and the Victoria Racing Club, could have up to 44 recommendations, with a number of key changes set to be announced.
It is understood those changes surround when the horses arrive, the amount that will be allowed to compete and potentially the eligibility of horses to compete in the spring.
As previously revealed on Racing.com, it is likely to mean less horses will be invited to race in this year’s spring carnival.
International connections and key local industry participants were briefed on the recommendations and changes on Wednesday morning ahead of Wednesday afternoon’s announcement.
There will also be greater vet oversight of international horses, including extra and more frequent scanning both overseas and once they arrive in Australia.
Racing.com understands Werribee will continue to be used as the quarantine facility for international gallopers.
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Speaking on Tuesday, respected Caulfield trainer Mick Price said it made sense that RV vets should be the ones to pass horses fit to travel, especially as such horses have to contend with vastly different training circuits and surfaces when they arrive.
Price said most European horses have access to much different surfaces than do the local stayers in Australia.
“To bring them to Werribee all of a sudden and get them around that track on a different surface, whether it be the Pro-ride there or the course proper, around the corners where it is so much different loading on them, it opens them up to injury,” Price said.
“I know a lot of horses go to Werribee and come out of there and they are fine, but I think you have to adapt your work, especially to Werribee – it’s the only quarantine and it’s the only option.
“It’s a big key to it. I know there are possible scintigraphy and MRI options over there and our vets over here to read information that is supplied to them from England or France or wherever.
“Our vets to read it, our vets to tick off on it.”
The report is also set to address the deaths in recent years of horses in the Melbourne Cup.