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Cups Raids "Under Threat" Amid Quarantine Confusion

Wednesday, 6th July 2011

However the “Cups bid of at least one key European raider will be aborted unless Australian officials abandon a new quarantine facility at Newmarket in England,” reported The Herald-Sun this morning. Regular Cups raider Luca Cumani “expressing the view of many European trainers” said Cups raids “would be off unless a new quarantine site in the heartland of English racing was scrapped”. Cumani declared bluntly: “If they stick to the current facility, then I'm afraid there will be no trip to Melbourne. An Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service inspector “visited traditional quarantine facilities at Ballydoyle in Ireland & Newmarket in England earlier this year & ruled both as unsatisfactory”; a new facility “was then selected at Newmarket, the sprawling training centre north of London”. However Cumani emphasised: “The new place can't work, simple as that. You'd have to float horses there every morning & the venue isn't suitable. The horses would be nervous wrecks.” The 1st international raiders are due to arrive at Victoria’s Werribee quarantine centre on September 24 & Cumani (twice trainer of the Melbourne Cup runner-up) had planned to send “up to 5 horses” this year. Cumani said it was “ridiculous to impose strict quarantine on racehorses” noting: “The tests for equine influenza & the like are 100% accurate. Quarantine for these animals is redundant.” And prominent owner Terry Henderson (who is scouting for cups horses in France) agreed, saying: “These are elite athletes, not cows plucked out of paddocks in Norfolk. These horses pose no threat. Sick horses are not loaded on planes to run in Melbourne Cups.”

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