This year’s Melbourne Cup tips will be my last until serious action is taken by Racing Victoria to fix the obscene injury rate in this race.
It’s obvious to myself, and many others in racing, that there is a problem with the Melbourne Cup. There is a huge divide between the Cup and every other race in Australia.
It seems impossible to believe, but Australia has the safest racing in the world. The lowest injury rate per race and per horse.
Yet, one race – the one everyone watches – has the highest injury rate in the world. In The World. The difference between this race and all the others is so obscenely wide that it is almost unreal. Other 2mile races don’t have this issue. Other races at Flemington don’t have this issue. It’s only the Cup.
I don’t have all the answers. I firmly believe racing needs to find them, and fast. Before next year’s race. Before any more gorgeous international runners get hurt (and it is only a recent change for the worst, and it only affects horses who’ve recently arrived in Australia). Is it the travel? Is it the difference in track conditions (ours are much harder and our horses have more bone density than Europeans who grow up on softer ground)? Is it the quarantine centre? I don’t know. But we need to know – because we can’t hurt any more horses.
I have spent years in my career dedicated to Thoroughbred welfare. I can’t, in good faith, continue to support a race that has an unsupportable injury rate.
Australia has the lowest fatality rate in the world – across all racing. The Melbourne Cup has the highest. It makes no sense to continue to support such an event when it creates the awful perception that all racing is like this. It is past time for the racing authorities to step up and do something. I don’t want to see any more beautiful horses hurt.