29 July 2011

Pre-export quarantine approved for European Melbourne Cup raiders

Racing Victoria is hell-bent on removing all barriers to industry giant Coolmore running So You Think in this year's WS Cox Plate. RV confirmed the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service has “approved the pre-export quarantine arrangements at Newmarket in the United Kingdom, thus paving the way for European horses to compete during Victoria’s 2011 Spring Racing Carnival”. RV chief executive Rob Hines noted the approval “will ensure European trainers can continue their preparations for this year’s Spring Racing Carnival safe in the knowledge that the required quarantine facilities exist”. Hines also revealed: “We are continuing our positive discussions with AQIS around pre-export quarantine facilities at Ballydyole in Ireland and remain confident of reaching a resolution that would allow Coolmore-owned horses such as So You Think to return to Australia via that facility should his owners so desire.” The first list of international contenders for the Spring Racing Carnival will be known next Tuesday (August 2) when nominations close for the Gr1 Caulfield Cup & Gr1 Cox Plate. Nominations for the Gr1 Melbourne Cup close a month later on Thursday 1 September. (Jul 29 via breedingracing.com)

25 July 2011

Lukewarm praise for HK stewards' integrity crackdown

A graduate of the Ray Murrihy school, HKJC Chief Steward Kim Kelly's laser-like focus on integrity continues to be "touchy", "tricky", and "complicated" area for Hong Kong's racing media: South China Morning Post sums up the season past with only equivocal support for Kelly's crackdown on jockeys:
"It was in other areas where things got touchy and five applications of the rule requiring jockeys to take "all reasonable and permissible measures to win or obtain the best possible place in the field" was one. In the 10 seasons prior, 15 rides fell foul of the rule. It's tough on those five penalised - all were relicensed, so their integrity was not under question - but it continues to be a tricky area open to much personal interpretation. The other event was the HK$300,000 fine issued to Zac Purton in June after an inquiry found he had not taken the appropriate action of reporting two separate approaches from a punter, previously jailed for a similar offence, who wished to place bets on his behalf in return for tips. The matter was complicated as Purton had known the punter's brother in Sydney as a racing manager for Hong Kong owners, and he had loaned him money over their joint involvement in a business venture in Australia."

Five-time HK champion trainer Brian Kan bailed on election bribe charges

Brian Kan on a good day.
In Hong Kong, 5-time champion trainer Brian Kan “faces a possible jail sentence after being charged with corruption for allegedly attempting to buy a vote in a village election” reported racingpost.com. HK's Independent Commission Against Corruption charged Kan, 73, with offering a HK$130,000 (A$15,000) bribe “to a village representative in February when he unsuccessfully ran in a village election in Sheung Shui in the rural northern New Territories, close to the border with mainland China”. Kan, described by The South China Morning Post as “the most influential horse trainer of his generation” recorded 844 winners in a 25-year career. He was “released on bail and will appear in court on Tuesday to face charges that carry a maximum fine of HK$500,000 (A$60,000) and up to 7 years in jail”. (Source: breedingracing.com)

Hendra virus update: more horse deaths in Queensland

Breedingracing.com reports 9th & 10th Qld Horses Die From Hendra Virus: Authorities confirmed the 9th & 10th horses have died in separate outbreaks in Queensland from the Hendra virus, reported abc.net.au. Biosecurity Queensland said the 9th horse, which “was euthanased at a property in Logan (south of Brisbane) initially tested negative to Hendra, but secondary testing showed it previously had a Hendra virus infection & had developed antibodies to the disease”. Six people who were exposed to the sick animal “have tested negative to signs of the virus”. Queensland authorities also announced “test results have confirmed a 10th horse that died in Chinchilla on Friday had the virus”. It is the 1st case west of the Great Diving Range & Queensland's chief health officer Jeannette Young said: “All people who've had contact with the horse will have blood tests taken now & again in 21 days & 42 days to just check that they haven't developed the disease.” Queensland’s chief biosecurity officer Dr Jim Thompson added only 1 property is quarantined at Chinchilla & assured: “We don't believe there is any need to be taking further actions - this is under control.” Overall there have now been 8 outbreaks of Hendra in Queensland this year; overall 10 horses in Queensland & 4 in NSW have died from the disease over the past 4 weeks.

Vet warns "time is running out" to nail Qld Hendra horse deaths

Qld Vet Calls For “Urgent Action” On Hendra: The latest Hendra virus outbreak at Chinchilla “has placed added pressure on the resources of Queensland Health and Biosecurity Queensland” reported abc.net.au. In addition to 10 horse deaths in 8 locatons across the state, “87 horses are being monitored and up to 60 people have been tested since the 1st outbreak last month”. Veterinarian Dr David Lovell, from Redland Bay east of Brisbane, warned “time is running out to determine the cause of so many Hendra virus outbreaks across Queensland”. Lovell said the State Government “needs to allocate more resources to studying the reasons behind the spike in outbreaks” and declared: “Something's different, something has changed. My belief probably is that it is all in the month of July - I think that in a very, very short period of time we have had all these different outbreaks. Why is that suddenly happening? It has never ever been like that before and it's just essential that we know.” Lovell emphasised Biosecurity Queensland “needs all the help it can get to figure it out. They are probably stretched to their limits a little bit now - I would like to see it outsourced. AusVet - their speciality is epidemiology - that is what they do and they have done some brilliant work over the years. I am sure at the CSIRO there are lots and lots of people that aren't directly on the Government payroll at the moment, that I think could be given this as an urgent, immediate project to get out there and find out.” Qld Mayor Also Calls For Hendra Action: Following the Hendra death at Chinchilla, Western Downs Mayor Ray Brown told abc.net.au “work must continue to stop the spread of Hendra virus from bats to horses”. Brown said flying fox colonies “are widespread on the Western Downs” and noted: “Personally I know myself - where I live at Moonie, I have pecan nut trees that they love to attack. It's just part of nature in Queensland - how we deal with it is certainly an issue that's got to be addressed. We don't want more frequencies of this type of event.” Source: breedingracing.com.