Cup protocols likely to be tested

POSTED ON  |  14-09-2021

Melbourne Cup
New veterinary protocols, introduced to protect the Melbourne Cup, are almost certain to be tested this spring with the Victoria Racing Club expecting up to four internationals to run in Australia's greatest race. The VRC's executive general manager of racing Leigh Jordon said with six internationals still in the race following the first round of declarations on Tuesday, the prospects are sound that the new protocols will be tested as international interest in the $8 million feature remains strong.
  • "Considering the new requirements that have come into play with the pre-travel diagnostics, as well as the COVID situation with people being unable to travel or to get a passenger flight is proving difficult, so to have three or four runners likely for the Melbourne Cup is a great result at this stage," Jordon said.
  • "To have the prospect of last year's Melbourne Cup winner in Twilight Payment return is great and Spanish Mission is probably the in-form stayer in Europe at the moment with form through Stradivarius.
  • "Master Of Reality has been running well and Away He Goes ran second in the Goodwood Cup, so to get horses of that ilk would be terrific."
The internationals remaining in the Melbourne Cup are Spanish Mission, Master Of Reality, Twilight Payment, Away He Goes, Sonnyboyliston and Rodrigo Diaz. It was feared that not only would the new pre-travel veterinary testing deter connections from coming to Australia, but a lack of overseas participation this year would mean the club would be none-the-wiser if the protocols would have worked.

The news was not so good from a global perspective for the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate, with international runners to likely be at a minimum. Joseph O'Brien's Saratoga Derby winner State Of Rest is the only internationally trained horse remaining among 79 first declarations for the Cox Plate, although Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe fourth placegetter Gold Trip is also expected to run in the race, but under the care of new trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.

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