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The order of entry for the 2013 Melbourne Cup and 2013 Caulfield Cup will be used to prioritise space at the Werribee International Horse Centre (WIHC) this spring.
With the number of overseas runners contesting Australia’s major staying races increasing each year, serious demand has been placed on the facilities available at Werribee.
Government regulations mean international horses must be in quarantine for two weeks upon arrival.
The WIHC can accommodate up to 24 horses and Racing Victoria Executive General Manager Greg Carpenter said the new policy will ensure that the highest rated horses will be given priority.
With 22 horses quarantined at Werribee last year and 20 in 2011, it is anticipated that there could be more than 24 arriving this year.
“All of the carnival’s major races have early nomination dates and we will rely upon the order of entry for these races to determine access to the facility,” Carpenter said.
“Preference will be given to horses highest up the respective orders, rather than where the owner and trainer resides.
“We felt it important to provide clarity around what horses would be excluded in the event demand did exceed its capacity.”
The first batch of international horses coming for the spring carnival have been tentatively scheduled to arrive on September 28.
In the current Melbourne Cup market, most of the favourites are locally-based imports so won’t be affected by the new policy.
Heading the charge for the overseas raiders is $11 chance Mount Athos who finished fifth in the race last year.
The Luca Cumani-trained gelding won the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes by nine lengths at Chester last month.
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