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Bruce McHugh has lost his bid to have artificial insemination introduced to the Australian thoroughbred breeding industry.

The High Court on Friday denied the former bookmaker and Sydney Turf Club chairman leave to appeal a Federal Court decision that Australian Racing Board rules were not anti-competitive or a restraint of trade.

ARB chief executive Peter McGauran welcomed the decision after a four-year challenge of the rules by McHugh.

“Australian racing would have been reduced to a small and insular domestic industry if AI had been imposed on it,” McGauran said.

“The major racing jurisdictions around the world gave evidence that our black type would not be recognised and exports refused.

“Naturally such exclusion would have been to our great disadvantage.

“Australia is the second largest racing nation after America and plays a major role internationally.

“Today’s decision removes any doubt about the industry’s future and provides certainty.”

The ARB will seek to recover costs previously awarded, saying they are industry funds which should be returned to stakeholders.

 
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