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Spring Racing Carnival Cancelled (article for newspaper inserts) October 8, 2007


HATS OFF Spring Racing Carnival Cancelled

Equine Flu to Blame

Warren Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Racing Club confided in Melbourne’s The Age (7 October 2007) that, “Each time the phone rings I think it will mean the Equine Influenza has broken out”.

Well, that phone call has now come and put an end to the 2007 Spring Racing Carnival.

“I’m distraught, I cannot believe that the 2007 Melbourne Cup will not go ahead. This will be the first time that the famous international horse race has not been run in over three decades.” Mr. Brown said.

Equine Influenza has spread into the Victorian ‘Green Zone’ with two animals testing positive at recent tests held at Spotswood stables in Melbourne’s West. Victorian Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, Brian Ogen confirmed that staff are now investigating the precise cause of the outbreak and any possibility of the disease spreading.

The two infected 4-year-old geldings raced last weekend in an early Caulfield Guineas race, where it is believed there is the largest outbreak of Equine Influenza in Australia. Thus far, numbers of affected horses has possibly reached hundreds, with thousands more to be further tested.

A ‘Red Zone’ is being declared around the Spotswood property and the Flinders Zone, and will be extended further west and south in coming weeks. The horse owners, in this case, took early action by reporting their sick animals immediately, which hopefully will give a better chance of preventing further spreading of the disease.

The new zoning effect will unfortunately restrict the movement of many horses, which up until now have been given freedom to move amongst stables. The declaration of the new ‘Red Zone’ will effectively put a stop to most, if not all, of the Spring Racing Carnival including the Melbourne Cup.

International stables including O’brien (Ireland), Sumii (Japan) and Rogerson (New Zealand) have already informed the Victorian Racing Club that they are not prepared to risk the health and future of their horses.

Last year Sumii brought Delta Blue’s to the carnival, the horse that went on to win the 2006 Melbourne Cup. He announced, “That unless the VRC and Racing Australia are prepared to compensate for loss of potential earnings then there is no chance that I will risk any of my horses in the 2007 Spring Carnival.”

So hats off ladies, the races are off.

– Internationals back out of the barrier
– Late scratching for the SRC (Spring Racing Carnival)
– No spring in your step this carnival season
– Nothing to view as the horses get the flu
– No horse will win as VRC pulls the pin



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