Pre Melbourne Cup Vet Checks To Avoid No Shows

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In a shake up for the Melbourne Cup the top 35 horses remaining before final acceptances will be required to undergo a veterinary examination in a bid to reduce the occurrence of late scratchings.

Chief steward of Racing Victoria Terry Bailey said the vet check process would start on the Thursday before Derby Day.

He said the procedure should be completed on the eve of Derby Day with any suspect horses needing to be cleared to run before 5pm the following day.

“Any horse that is doubtful will have until Saturday 5pm to prove otherwise,” Bailey said.

Chief executive of the Victorian Racing Commission Dale Monteith said that any horse not passed fit in the required time frame would not be granted a spot as a final acceptor.

He said the new process was required to drastically reduce the number of Melbourne Cup eve or Melbourne Cup morning scratchings.

A similar process will not be used for the Caulfield Cup due to the inclusion of emergencies or for the Cox Plate which often doesn’t reach a full list of acceptors.

Bauer was a late scratching during last year’s Melbourne Cup the morning of the race after he pulled up lame the previous Wednesday.

Changingoftheguard was scratched under similar circumstances in 2009.

Bailey said stewards were looking at a range of new measures to be put in place for the 2011 Spring carnival.

One which is closest to becoming a reality is that every international horse will have to undertake a vet check within 72 hours of arriving at the Werribee Quarantine centre.

He said they would be informed of these requirements before leaving their own country’s quarantine centres.

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