The Championships in Sydney during the autumn could get a lot more exciting with the news leading Hong Kong trainer John Moore wants to bring some of his horses to the race series.
However he has revealed it is only on the provision that a suitable quarantine station is available in Sydney. At the moment, all international horses are forced to serve their quarantine periods at Werribee, outside Melbourne, but The Championships being held in a different state entirely makes it too much of a hassle for many trainers.
Moore told the South China Morning Post he is not interested in travelling to Australia under the current program but if a quarantine centre was to open in Sydney he would bring at least two of his top horses in the autumn.
He claims that last year’s Group 1 Hong Kong International Vase (2400m) winner Dominant will tackle the two mile distance in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) while sprinter Sterling City will line-up in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m).
“It all hinges on Canterbury racecourse being used as the quarantine in Sydney,” Moore said (via TVN).
“I’m not interested if they are using Werribee (outside Melbourne) but as long as that part of it is right, I will have Sterling City going to Sydney for the TJ Smith Stakes and Dominant’s ownership syndicate has agreed to send him there as well, probably for the Sydney Cup.”
Sterling City could also take a run at the Brisbane Winter Carnival with races like the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) and Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on Moore’s radar, considering the latter will now carry $2 million in prize money.
Racing NSW acknowledged the quarantine problem in their strategic plan earlier this week so Moore’s objective may soon be resolved, which means the Sydney autumn racing carnival could be packed with international talent.
The Championships is the richest race series in the Southern Hemisphere. It comprises of 10 Grand Final races, eight of which are at Group One level, offering in excess of $20 million in prize money.
Races include the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), and the two aforementioned.
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