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No Hong Kong Invader Rush to Australia
The end of the two-year stand off between Australia and Hong Kong is a huge relief to anyone wanting to export horses out of Hong Kong back into Australia but, as scmp.com reports, there is unlikely to be a sudden rush of racehorses competing in Australia. The resolution has made punters excited about the prospect of star speedster Aethero (Sebring-Pinocchio, by Encosta de Lago) competing in the Everest in Sydney, however history is against the horse. The overall record of Hong Kong-trained horses competing in Australia stands at one win, and twelve placings from 47 starts. The sole victory was David Oughton's Cape Of Good Hope (Inchinor-Cape Merino, by Clantime) who won the Gr1 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley in 2005. In the past seven years (even taking out the past two years), only two Hong Kong-trained horses have made the trip. Caspar Fownes' Lucky Nine (Dubawi-Birjand, by Green Desert) in 2013 (he ran second in the Manikato Stakes and sixth in the VRC Sprint Classic) and John Moore's Dominant (Cacique-Es Que, by Inchinor) – fifth in the Ranvet Stakes and sixth in the Sydney Cup in 2015. The increased prizemoney for the likes of the Everest and the All-star Mile might help, but horses have to spend six weeks in quarantine – two weeks pre-export and two weeks after arriving in Australia and then an additional two weeks once they land back in Hong Kong. Therefore, if a horse competes during the Sydney or Melbourne spring, it is likely to compromise its build-up to the Longines Hong Kong International Races in early December. The quarantine result is a big one for those who rehome retired Hong Kong gallopers. There are more horses in the Jockey Club system than ever before – almost 1,400 – which also means number of retirements is higher than ever. Historically, people in Australia took on a big percentage of those horses and given that avenue was cut-off for two years, it put a lot of pressure on other options. The resolution around quarantine will be a huge positive for horses in the long run.