Trainer Wendy Roche has hit out against plans to give super mare Black Caviar special treatment at the barriers for tomorrow’s Schweppes Stakes at Moonee Valley.
Roche’s Here De Angels has been shifted from gate five to six in the race due to the horse’s previous history of playing up in the barrier stalls.
The move ensures that champion Black Caviar will jump with a free barrier to her right as she attempts to claim her 15th unbeaten race start.
Roche said that Here De Angels was initially banned from competing in the race altogether.
“They called me and said he was not welcome in Victoria anymore,” Roche said.
Racing Victoria has since overturned that decision, however, have now alternated the barrier loading order to avoid any possible mishaps.
“I heard this morning that they would load all the (other) horses and put Black Caviar in once he’s (Luke Nolen) happy,” Roche said.
“Now Mr Moody has stated that he wants Black Caviar to go in last and jump when she’s ready.
“I just find that disgusting and disgraceful.”
Racing Victoria’s chief Steward Terry Bailey defended the club’s decision to protect the welfare of Black Caviar and revealed that Roche had originally been on board with the plans.
“She’s (Roche) obviously changed her view since yesterday,” Bailey said.
“Unfortunately you can’t change views.
“It’s (Here De Angels) a horse that’s had a long history here in Victoria and obviously we’re concerned with the horses all round.”
Bailey believes Racing Victoria took the most appropriate approach to handling the situation.
“The easy way out would have been to do nothing,” he said.
“There are situations that we’re confronted with and you deal with them the best way you believe.
“Neither horse is disadvantaged (in tomorrow’s Schweppes Stakes) and it’s a case by case situation and if Here De Angels jumps well on Saturday then we’ll reassess it.
“Each case is dealt with on its merits.”
Bailey said Moody did not threaten to scratch Black Caviar from the race had his requests not been met.
“I didn’t take it that way,” Bailey said.
Despite the issues surrounding the race, Roche feels Here De Angels deserves his place in the Schweppes Stakes field.
“I guess it’s the fact that I’m not a high profile trainer and the horse has barrier issues that he is the price he is,” she said.
Here De Angels has won 11 of his 34 race starts and earned close to $750,000 in prize money throughout his turbulent career.