Robin Trevor-Jones is no stranger to Australia with his latest trip from England being his toughest.
As the travelling foreman for trainer Ed Dunlop, Trevor-Jones was the regular companion to Red Cadeaux who ran in five Melbourne Cups, for three second placings, before breaking down in the 2015 Cup.
Trevor-Jones is back with Red Verdon, who races for Red Cadeaux’s owner Ronald Arculli.
This year’s trip took approximately 60 hours from Newmarket in England to the Werribee quarantine centre after a 20-hour stopover in Sharjah to repair a cracked windscreen on the plane.
Trevor-Jones was surprised how well the 19 horses handled the journey, but admitted the five days after their arrival on Sunday was crucial.
“It’s what we call shipping fever. It can pop out after five days,” Trevor-Jones told RSN927.
“It’s a bit like pneumonia in a human where the bacteria in the lungs starts to cause a problem, but at the moment we’ve had no signs.”
Trevor-Jones said the cargo plane was left running while delayed in Sharjah with another air-conditioning unit brought in to keep the horses calm.
He said the horses and accompanying staff were well looked after adding it was a relief to finally arrive in Melbourne and see the horses exit the plane.
“It was extraordinary to watch them come off the pallets,” Trevor-Jones said.
“Not one of them looked stressed or affected by the length of time they’d sat there.
“I was looking after Roger Charlton’s horse (Withhold) and my horse. The pair of them were so calm. They ate well and they drank well.
“It was an amazing feat for the horses to do what that did and come out as well as they have.”
Trevor-Jones says the stayer has plenty of ability but can be a bit lazy in his races.
“I like him, especially at the mile-and-a-half in the Caulfield Cup, and around that flat track at Flemington, I’m sure he’ll stay the two miles very, very strongly,” he said.