Japan to miss Melbourne Cup
Japan will be without any runners in the Melbourne Cup for the third year in a row.
The Australian Quarantine department has advised Racing Victoria’s racing operations manager Leigh Jordon that quarantine protocols for Japanese horses wouldn’t be finalised until after the Melbourne Cup is run in November.
"It is disappointing," Jordon told radio station Sport 927.
"The Japanese have had runners wanting to come out each year and again this year but we have another year without them."
The only Japanese horses to contest the Melbourne Cup were Delta Blues who narrowly won from his stablemate Pop Rock in 2006.
Jordon said among the prospects this year was Dream Journey who last start won the Takarazuka Kinen (2200m) and is owned in the same interests as Delta Blues.
Al Nasrani, who was second in the Tenno Sho (3200m), and Tokai Trick who ran sixth were also likely Melbourne Cup contenders this year.
Jordon said an import risk assessment paper was being prepared by biosecurity officials which addresses the issues regarding the importation of horses to Australia.
He said officials last month inspected quarantine facilities in Japan as part of a worldwide assessment.
"They want to put the Japanese situation in with every other import risk assessment being considered on all quarantine centres around the world," Jordon said.
"They have indicated that the assessment probably won’t be released until the end of the year or early next year and will be finalised in February or March next year."
By Robert Windmill