The Gai Waterhouse stable has called for a review of Queensland’s balloting conditions with Najoom made second emergency for the Group One Tattersall’s Tiara.
It is the second time an in-form Waterhouse runner has missed the field in a major race during the winter carnival.
Pornichet did not get a start as second emergency for the Group Two Hollindale Stakes. He then went on to win the Toowoomba Cup and the Group One Doomben Cup.
In Queensland, feature race fields are usually determined on prize money and not a horse’s recent form.
Najoom missed the Stradbroke Handicap with a minor injury but has since won a trial in brilliant fashion ahead of Saturday’s Group One Tatt’s Tiara (1400m) at the Gold Coast.
Waterhouse is in England to oversee Wandjina’s Royal Ascot lead-up but stable spokesman Mark Newnham said it wasn’t just her stable calling for a change.
“In the Hollindale, the eventual winner Leebaz was also an emergency and only just snuck into the field,” Newnham said.
“I know people might say I am talking because it has affected us this winter.
“But isn’t the idea to have the best field possible? And it isn’t just us who have had problems this winter.”
He said the problem, especially in fillies and mares races, was some older mares with a large amount of prize money but low ratings got in ahead of better performed horses.
“It means when you use prize money as your base they get in the field instead of in-form fillies and younger horses,” Newnham said.
“There are four horses in the Tiara who rate below Najoom.
“Surely the idea is to get the best field whether it involves one of ours or another stable.”
The Robert Smerdon-trained Lumosty, a Tatt’s Tiara runner, was the ruling favourite for the Stradbroke Handicap but only gained a start at the last minute as an emergency.
She was unplaced after racing wide throughout the race.
Waterhouse will have two definite starters in Listed races at the Gold Coast with 2014 Sydney Cup winner The Offer to run over 1800 metres and Harlem River over 1400.