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Image: Reg Ryan
A review of veterinary protocols for the Spring Carnival may not bring about drastic changes

No fatalities in the Melbourne Cup may not mean there will be an immediate relaxation of the stringent protocols that were introduced to make it a safe race.

Racing Victoria Chairman Brian Kruger said the team at RV would undertake a thorough review of the impact the protocols had on this year’s Cup with only two internationals lining up in this year’s race.

Kruger watched this year’s Cup with Victoria Racing Club Chairman Neil Wilson and admitted the pair embraced after all horses safely completed the course.

“One year doesn’t mean we can take our foot off the pedal in making sure everything was safe, but it was a fantastic relief for us to get through this year,” Kruger told RSN.

Kruger said he had heard stories that RV was trying to restrict the number in international competitors for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival which he said could not be further from the truth.

To be able to come to Australia, international gallopers were put through stringent veterinary tests including scintigraphy, which sees a nuclear dye run through a horse’s system.

Many trainers, including Aidan O’Brien, were not prepared to put their horses through that, while the small number of horses that did make it to Australia acquitted themselves well.

It was not only international horses that had to go through rigorous testing.

Kruger pointed out Danny O’Brien was forced to scratch Young Werther after a CT scan.

“Danny was so supportive of the protocols because he is one of the stakeholders in Victoria that has to live with the implications if we had another fatality,” Kruger said.

“That objective of having a safe race will not change.

“Our team will sit down and work through all the feedback that we have had from various stakeholders.

“If it is appropriate, we tweak something that can make it easier for horses to participate and it doesn’t have any significant impact on the risk of the race, then we will look at that.”

 
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