O’Brian Possibly Heading to Australia
Whether or not we see some of the best horses from Aiden O’Brian compete in three of the leading horse racing events in Australia, will all depend on quarantine negotiations. As O’Brian and his horses seem to be an unstoppable combination at present, making headlines almost every week, the Tatts Cox Plate, Emirates Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup, which form part of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, will welcome his presence at the events. Organizers will certainly see to it that the carnival has some of its strongest fields since its inception.
Australia will be coming alive with spectacular international racing action if Aidan O’Brian and his entries from Ballydoyle make the trip to the country. The Tatts Cox Plate will take place on the 25th of October and for this event O’Brian has selected Duke of Marmalade and Henrythenavigator as contenders. Henrythenavigator is seen as the top miler in the three year old division at present, while Duke of Marmalade has been said to be the most outstanding horse in Europe.
The Emirates Melbourne Cup will be run on the 4th of November, and two big names in the Ballydoyle stable, namely Septimus and Yeats, have been entered. The competition has endless possibilities to who might enter, with horses such as Weekend Hussler, St. Leger, Sixties Icon, Mad Rush, Speed Gift, Consulate and Profound beauty being amongst them. MacArthur and Septimus have also been entered as possibilities for the Caulfield Cup, which takes place on 18 October 2008. But even with fifteen of O’Brian’s horses being entered, there is still the obstacle of quarantine.
Due to the equine influenza outbreak that was suffered in Australia, the government has enforced even stricter rules and regulations in regard to quarantine. Even though everyone in the horse racing industry is aware of the importance of quarantine, including Aiden O’Brian, he feels that if the restrictions prohibit his horses from continuing with their normal training routine, then taking his horses to Australia will be a waste of time. His objections and concerns have been taken up by the Australian authorities and are being discussed. In recent years, the quarantine period for Australia has been strict, with horses remaining in isolation from other European horses for two weeks, and then two weeks isolation from Melbourne horses. Although training has been permitted, stable staff is required to shower and change clothing every time they enter the compound and horses can only train with other horses that are in quarantine. It is feared that the even stricter restrictions and regulations will make it almost impossible to keep horses on their training schedule and to get them ready for their events. So for now, O’Brian has entered his horses, and anxiously waits to hear the outcome of the quarantine discussions.