Stewards have taken the extraordinary step of reallocating the starting gate of noted barrier rogue Here De Angels which will protect champion Black Caviar from potential harm at Moonee Valley.
Here De Angels drew the outside of the five-horse field in Saturday’s Group Two Schweppes Stakes (1200m) but will now start in barrier six with an empty gate between him and Black Caviar in barrier four.
Black Caviar is going for her 15th win in a row on Saturday.
Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey announced on Thursday that the decision was reached after consultation between the stewards and Here De Angels’ connections, and after taking into account the gelding’s previous history of bad barrier manners when trained in Victoria.
Here De Angels, who is now with Goulburn trainer Wendy Roche, was barred from racing at the end of 2010 in Victoria due to his roguish barrier behaviour.
The eight-year-old has since had the ban lifted in NSW and the ACT where he has raced and trialled a total of six times.
NSW stewards issued Here De Angels with a warning last Saturday at Randwick for missing the start, but he is not barred from racing.
“While connections have assured us that the horse’s barrier manners are now satisfactory, based on the horse’s previous history here in Victoria we have decided to move it out one barrier as there are no runners drawn on its outside,” Bailey said.
“This decision has the full support of the connections of Here De Angels.”