O'Brien Warns Aust Quarantine May Stop Cup Runners

Thursday, 7th August 2008

Coolmore's Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien delivered the shock warning overnight that none of his multiple nominations for the Melbourne spring carnival are certain to head for Australia if the Federal Government's new quarantine laws prove "unworkable". O'Brien told Britain's The Telegraph newspaper that the Australian Government's tougher quarantine restrictions triggered by last year's equine influenza crisis had the potential to end up as a "farce", noting: "Nobody is more aware of the importance of quarantine than we are at Ballydoyle & we appreciate what that involves, but we also know the difference between farce & reality. If the restrictions make it impossible for the horses to enjoy some sort of normality in their training, then we will not go. We all love Australia & 'the lads' (Coolmore principals John Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith) have big investments there. But there's no point going if all the odds are against you". O'Brien similarly told Ireland's Setanta Sports: "We'd love to have a runner in the Melbourne Cup, but a lot is going to depend on quarantine restrictions this year. If the quarantine regulations disrupt the horses' training too much, to a point where if effects preparation & it's a disadvantage, then obviously we won't be going. There are a lot more regulations this year, more so than last year, when it was difficult; so it's going to depend on those things."

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