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The horses stranded in Sharjah en route to Melbourne for the spring carnival are reported to be in good condition and showing no signs of distress.

A cracked windscreen on their plane’s first leg of the journey from London to Melbourne forced a longer that expected stopover in Sharjah.

A Racing Victoria statement on Saturday said the 19 horses had remained on the aircraft with a team of veterinary experts, led by Dr Des Leadon, keeping a watch on their welfare in a controlled temperature while being fed and hydrated.

RV spokesman Paul Bloodworth said it was an unfortunate incident.

“Dr. Leadon is one of the world’s leading authorities on travelling with horses and he is comfortable with the condition of all 19 horses,” Bloodworth said.

“At this time we do not have a precise arrival time for the horses, but they will be checked by a team of vets on arrival in Melbourne, as is standard procedure.

“Until they get here we won’t know when they will complete quarantine, but we are in discussions with the government and remain hopeful that they will be allowed to race from Caulfield Guineas Day onwards.”

Earlier on Saturday eight UK-based gallopers arrived in Melbourne to begin their quarantine ahead of spring targets.

Seven were from Godolphin trainers Charlie Appleby and Saeed bin Suroor, including Cox Plate invitee Benbatl, while the Charlie Fellowes-trained Prince Of Aran completed the shipment.

Japanese gallopers Chestnut Coat and Sole Impact are due to arrive on Monday.

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