The foreign invaders have once again scooped the pool at this year’s Melbourne Cup and their domination doesn’t look like ending anytime soon, which raises the question: why isn’t the number of foreign horses that are allowed to run in the Melbourne Cup capped by the Victorian Racing Club?
It’s little wonder that most of the top trainers in Australia focus on training their horses to run between 1200 and 2000 metres, as that is the distance range where the majority of Group Ones are run and where the huge prize money is on offer.
Where is the incentive for local trainers to produce stayers? Sure, each city has its own 3200-metre race throughout the year, but they are well spaced and struggle to attract any top quality horses.
Surely the onus should be on the respective racing associations to follow the lead set by Sydney with the Championships in Autumn, a great initiative which has already been a major success with their ability to attract top class racehorses from around the world.
The challenge still remains, however, to be able to get the top stayers to come back to our shores for the Sydney Cup or to get them to remain in Australia after they have run in the Melbourne Cup and the signs are that this is becoming a popular trend.
In an ideal world, the Melbourne Cup would be the main focus of local trainers and not an afterthought, but with it being run so soon after the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup, it’s always going to prove to be a challenge.
Ask any racing fan and they’d tell you that they would have loved to have seen Winx run in this year’s Melbourne Cup, but understandably her grand final was the Cox Plate and she came out of that race with an injury, but you can just imagine how Winx would have captivated the Australian public if Chris Waller had decided to run her and, better still, if he had aimed her for the Melbourne Cup.
It can only be hoped that in the future, more local trainers decide to earmark the Melbourne Cup with their best horses. That being said, their pedigree obviously has a lot to do with that, but that never seemed to stop the master trainer Bart Cummings from training 12 Melbourne Cup winners, with some of them not bred to run over 3200 metres.
I’m sure that Bart Cummings would be turning over in his grave now at the foreign invaders having such a monopoly on the race that stops our nation.
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