Officials are expecting to find out early next week whether a group of international horses scheduled to compete on Caulfield Guineas day will be free to exit quarantine.
A plane carrying 19 international runners from England and Ireland was forced to spend around 20 hours on the tarmac at Sharjah to repair a cracked windscreen which meant the horses arrived in Melbourne on Sunday, almost a day later than planned.
Horses are required to spend 14 days in quarantine but Racing Victoria is hopeful it can get a special dispensation from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to allow the horses housed at Werribee to finish on October 13 as planned.
“It’s quite clear in their rules or policies that once you arrive in Australia you have to conduct 14 days post-arrival quarantine. So we need them to provide a day’s dispensation,” RV representative Paul Bloodworth told RSN927 on Monday.
“What they’ve advised is that they need to assess all the swabs. When the horses arrive here from any country they have four days of swabs which is effectively testing for EI (Equine Influenza).
“They won’t have those results back until later this week and then they need to assess that situation and also get a report from IRT on the circumstances around the delay in Sharjah.
“Once they’ve got all that information they’ve advised they’ll be able to provide us a decision on that.”
Bloodworth said he hoped the government would act in their favour.
“One thing in our favour is they sat on the tarmac at Sharjah,” he said.
“They didn’t leave the plane. They were effectively under isolation conditions through that period and the government are aware of that.”
The issue also affects some horses who were already in Melbourne and in one of the barns with some horses who arrived on Sunday, meaning Jungle Cat, one of nine horses scheduled to compete at Caulfield on October 13, might not be allowed to run in the Toorak Handicap.
Should the horses have to remain in quarantine until October 14, it would also have ramifications for a group of eight internationals, including 2018 Melbourne Cup contender Magic Circle, due to arrive in Melbourne on October 13.
They will take up residence in one of three barns at Werribee which will be vacated by eight horses leaving to join Australian trainers.
“There is a possibility that we could take those eight horses to the government’s Mickleham facility to spend the night there and do all the required testing, and then the next day when those horses that are currently there would leave we could float them over to Werribee,” Bloodworth said.
Two Japanese horses Chestnut Coat and Sole Impact arrived on Monday in preparation for their spring targets.