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No Way Here for Japanese Horses
Restricted flights due to the COVID19 pandemic have resulted in no Japanese horses coming to Australia for the foreseeable future, reports racing.com. The shuttle stallions had already been told they couldn't, however IRT hoped that the racehorses heading to the Spring Carnival might still make it provided the freight companies were willing to carry the horses' staff. IRT director Chris Burke said, "The critical factor for us to move horses around the world at the moment is the humans. So, the horses already do quarantine at both ends so they can travel around the world. But the airlines have the weigh up the risk of having staff on board their cargo aircraft." Burke pointed out, "Cargo aircraft are playing a critical role moving goods around the world because of the lack of passenger flights, which have a lot of cargo in the belly. So individual airlines are making decisions on whether they wish to have horse handlers accompanying that freight aircraft. Out of Japan, the decision currently is that it's too high risk for them. Whether that changes between now and when the Spring Carnival is on is something that's impossible for me to predict." Chrono Genesis (Bago-Chronologist, by Kurofone) holds automatic entry to the Gr1 WS Cox Plate after winning the Takarazuka Kinen and is currently $11 second favourite alongside Japanese star Almond Eye (Lord Kanaloa-Fusaichi Pandora, by Sunday Silence). IRT is currently flying horses out of Europe and America with the shuttle stallions from there due to arrive this month. "In terms of aircraft that service Australia, (there are) maybe four to five airlines. And straight away a couple of them could get knocked out because of them not wanting to take grooms … it really does limit our options," Burke said.