Bauer In The Clear
It has been a very tiring and nerve-wracking week for the connections of the Melbourne Cup runner up, Bauer. Racing Victoria Ltd announced that an investigation would be launched into the treatment received by Bauer five days before the race, which if found guilty, would have seen Bauer stripped of his position and prize money. But it has recently been confirmed that Bauer will retain his placing, much to the relief of his trainer, Luca Cumani, and his owners.
Dr. Rober McInnes was appointed by Racing Victoria Ltd to oversee the health and welfare of all the overseas Melbourne Cup competitors that were in quarantine. During this time, Dr. McInnes recommended to Cumani that a low level of electro-shockwave treatment should be administered to Bauer. Cumani gave his approval, as he wanted to ensure the best possible medical treatment for his horse and as the veterinarian was appointed by Racing Victoria Ltd, Cumani did not question the treatment. In Britain, such treatment is allowed to be administered up until the day prior to racing, and Cumani did not realize that in Australia, there was a seven day waiting period before a horse could race.
Stewards held a meeting to determine if Bauer should lose his position due to this treatment, but it was found that Cumani could not be held responsible for treatment given by a Racing Victoria Ltd appointed veterinarian, as most trainers would assume that a veterinarian retained by them, would know the rules and not perform treatments that would jeopardize the horse or the outcome of the race. The low level of treatment also meant that by the time Bauer stepped onto the racecourse, none of the analgesic effects would have been present. Terry Bailey, Chief Steward, was confident in their decision, commenting: “In these circumstances a trainer was reasonable to assume that a vet assigned by RVL would have been familiar with the rules.” He also went on to say: “Obviously, when trainers arrive they are made aware of the rules, but this is a unique case where he was advised by a vet appointed by us. It makes the situation different.”
Owners and trainers of the third and fourth place finishers in the Melbourne Cup, Nick Williams and Danny O’Brian both commented that they trust that the stewards had made the correct decision and that they had no objections to the outcome. Bauer was therefore able to be recorded as the second place finisher and will be receiving his hard earned prize money shortly. Cumani also expressed his relief by commenting: “I was mightily relieved and I’m very, very glad for everybody concerned. I’m very glad for the owners, with such a great bunch of enthusiasts, and I had a wonderful time when the horse ran.”