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NZ Trainers Facing Spring Carnival Migration Issues
Tony Pike, head of the New Zealand Trainer's Association (NZTA), has been in discussions with an Australian migration expert about travelling to Australia for the Spring Carnival, reports racingnews.co.nz. "At this stage there is no problems in getting the horses across, but with what has been happening in Victoria of late the Government has probably got a little bit edgy and things aren't moving quite as quick as we were hoping," Pike told RSN Radio. "We had a meeting with one of the immigration experts over there (Australia) who was working with all the stud farms to get the shuttle stallions and grooms in for the breeding season. She was having a meeting with ministers last night (Monday), so we are going to have a catch-up and see if we can progress it. At this stage she is hopeful that she can get us an exemption to get in, but time is of the essence. We are getting closer to the spring carnival and if or when we can get over is the million dollar question at this point in time." Pike's Gr1 winner The Bostonian (Jimmy Choux-Keepa Cheval, by Keeper) is booked to fly to Sydney on 17 August, however whether Pike's staff will be able to go with him is unknown. "We had a meeting with a number of trainers yesterday and there are between 15 and 20 horses that are looking to go over from seven or eight trainers. Some of those trainers were looking to send their horses over in the next week or two. They may have to run in a caretaker trainer's name for a run or two until such time as we can get some certainty as to whether we can get some staff over to Australia."