All Clear for O’Brian

The Melbourne Cup is one of the biggest horse racing events on the Australian racing calendar, and will take place on 4 November 2008. Big names in horse racing, such as Aiden O’Brian had been reserving their confirmation of participation, awaiting the quarantine procedures and decisions by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. With the approval by the Australian authorities for Ballydoyle stables to be cleared as a quarantine facility, it seems that O’Brian will be heading for Australia and the $4.4 million (A$5.6 million) Melbourne Cup.

Last year a devastating outbreak of equine influenza saw the horse racing industry in Australia come to a grinding halt, as events were cancelled and horses not being permitted to be transported. After looking into the outbreak, it was found that the regulations and procedures that were in place during the spread of the virus were not of a high enough standard and the courts delivered thirty-eight recommendations for racing authorities to follow to prevent such an event happening again. This has led to major restrictions and strict regulations in regard to international competitors and their quarantine requirements.

Both Aiden O’Brian (Ballydoyle Stables) and Dermot Weld (Clunemore Lodge) were given the all clear by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, after they visited both facilities. Being able to pre-quarantine his horses at his stable yard, will allow O’Brian to train and gallop his horses in preparation for the Melbourne Cup. Septimus, who is also the race favorite, will be one of O’Brians entries, as well as stable mates Honolulu and Alessandro Volta. Dermot Weld will be training up Profound Beauty for the event, but said that he would only decide on her entry over the weekend.

The quarantine regulations have left Delta Blues and his stable mate, Pop Rock, out in the cold, as they would be forced to move onto the Melbourne Cup through a quarantine approved country, causing too many disruptions and travel for the horses to be able to maintain a training routine and get prepared for the race. But it is almost certain that Aiden O’Brian and his horses will be there to take on the international field.

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