Aidan O’Brien will not have runners at this spring carnival because a veterinary procedure is too much for the Irish champion trainer.
Racing Victoria’s international boss Paul Bloodworth said that a problem prevented Ireland’s top coach Aidan O’Brien from sending another team to Melbourne for the Spring Carnival.
Trained by O’Brien Anthony Van Dyck was euthanized after a broken leg in last year’s Melbourne Cup.
The resulting outcry forced Victoria Racing to conduct a detailed review of the horse welfare practices of international tourists at the Wallerby Quarantine Center.
The RV conducted a rigorous new pre-flight inspection of horses that were going to Melbourne, including standing CT scans and other detailed measures.
Bradworth says O’Brien has no objection to one of the Victoria Racing team’s new rules.
“He said very publicly that his main problem was scintillation,” Bloodworth said.
Scintillation scanning involves injecting radioactive dye into the horse before the dye is picked up by a special camera.
The dye shows areas of increased bone activity, previous fractures, or potential fractures. Horses undergoing scintillation scanning procedures can leave the stables for at least three days, which is a problem for O’Brien.
“He was worried about taking the horse from his stable and had to leave his stable for a while,” Bloodworth said.
“He is worried about how many jobs they will miss.
“That is the only problem. They are not worried about other changes.”
Although Aidan O’Brien has no horses, his son Joseph has nominated a team of four horses for the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate.
But Bradworth said the trainer, who won both Melbourne Cup titles, is still not sure whether his team, including last year’s Melbourne Cup champion Twilight Payment, will undergo the necessary veterinary testing.
“Joseph, like his father, raised some concerns about the new requirements,” Bradworth said.
“So we still have some work to do to get him across the line.
“It’s nice to see him nominate a horse, even though his father doesn’t.”
Bloodworth said that RV has not given up hope of finding a solution that can bring Aidan O’Brien runners back to Melbourne in the next few years.
“We have some work to do to find a way,” Bloodworth said.