Having been in the care of trainer Peter Moody in Victoria during the spring, Incentivise arrived back in his native Queensland on Tuesday having already seen original travel plans pushed back a week because of Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Incentivise will now reside with former trainer Steve Tregea who had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of his stable star as he looks towards plans for tackling a financially bolstered winter campaign.
Despite finally making the trip, the logistics for Incentivise became borderline ridiculous with Air Horse Transport Boss looking to help from the police to get clearance to transport the equine star.
Calthorpe was cleared to transport Incentivise with a groom and explained how the issues arose:
“This was a lot harder trying to get a horse up there to Queensland than it was in May when Covid was more rife,” Calthorpe said.
“We went through the Health Department, we did everything right, but then the coppers got involved.
“When we asked for an exemption from Queensland Health, we asked for an exemption under airfreight crew and the groom who travelled with Incentivise was booked into a quarantine hotel for crew.
“I initially told Toowoomba Police that we had been approved by the Health Department and they were happy, but then I get a call from Brisbane Police and they said they were running the show.
“Brisbane Police said the groom was staying at the wrong joint (quarantine hotel).
“They said he was not considered crew and they didn’t want him at that particular hotel.
“We had to change hotels three times in ten hours for him.”
With the lucrative Magic Millions festival coming up in January Calthorpe is looking for common sense to prevail.
“What I have gone through in the last 24 hours is amazing, I know they are only doing their job but surely the Health Department and the Police have got to work together,” Calthorpe said.
“In Victoria, the whole racing industry has to be double-vaxxed so anyone in racing who flies up to Queensland with a horse will be double-vaxxed and they can produce a negative Covid test.
“There is going to be a lot of interest in horses flying up there for the Queensland carnival so hopefully the situation with travelling horses becomes more straightforward.
“Now people know that Incentivise has got up, trainers are ringing me and asking if I can take their horses up to Queensland.”