Hayes irate about Cup scratching
A furious David Hayes was "insulted" that import Changingoftheguard was ruled unsound by Racing Victoria Limited (RVL) vets before stewards scratched him from the Melbourne Cup on race morning.
Minutes after the Cup was run and won by Shocking, Hayes was still seething over the fact the horse was considered lame by three RVL vets on Tuesday morning at his Flemington base.
The horse had had a foot abscess while at the Sandown quarantine centre which was widely publicised but Hayes said he was completely over the issue and sound.
He could not find any positives in Changingoftheguard being withdrawn, especially after internationals Crime Scene and Mourilyan ran second and third respectively.
"I had the horse trot in front of the TV cameras to show everyone that he was sound. I’ve never been so insulted in my life," Hayes said.
"Five leading trainers independently in the huts here (at Flemington) said that he was trotting sound and was moving well, surely you have to give me the benefit of the doubt.
"It’s my call, it’s my horse.
"The horse worked in public for 13 days straight."
Hayes, who bought Changingoftheguard for a reported $1 million and races him with several clients, floated the former Aidan O’Brien-trained horse from Sandown to Flemington on Sunday.
RVL vets inspected him on Monday and stewards said he would be inspected again on race morning.
"They get three people (vets) in that have nothing to do with my stable and take it out on the biggest day of my life," Hayes said.
Hayes said he would not have paid the $45,000 final acceptance fee if Changingoftheguard was lame.
"I’ve never been so disappointed. I had 1,700 runners last year and I employ people that have been around a long time, I employ experienced track riders, I’ve got top jockeys riding my horses.
"We’re capable of making the decision all year, why can’t we make it today?"
Hayes said Changingoftheguard would be spelled before being prepared for the autumn.
By Mark Ryan