Irish trainer Dermot Weld has criticised the race conditions of Australia’s Melbourne Cup after his impressive five-year-old Galileo’s Choice was ruled ineligible to compete in the $6 million race.
Galileo’s Choice has won three races in the past five weeks, including a Group 3 Kilternan Stakes at Leopardstown over 2,000 metres last Saturday, as well as a race over the 3,200 metres of the Melbourne Cup.
However, Australian racing officials have advised Weld, who trained Melbourne Cup winners Vintage Crop and Media Puzzle, that only horses that have won a Listed race or placed in a Group race over one mile and three and a half furlongs (2300m) meet the criteria for the Melbourne Cup.
“There are about two pages of rules which are, in my opinion, out-dated and as a result they are going to miss out on getting some of the best horses,” Weld said.
“Although he has won three races in five weeks, including winning a Group III at 10 furlongs, archaic conditions in the small print mean he isn’t eligible to run.
“It’s very frustrating. It is about time they had a good look at the qualifying conditions for the race and simplified things a bit.
“It makes little sense that a Listed-race winner over just short of 1m4f is guaranteed a run whereas a Group winner over 1m2f is not.”
Despite Galileo’s Choice being deemed unqualified to run in the upcoming Melbourne Cup, Weld’s mare Sense Of Purpose still remains in contention to be part of the 24 horse field.