Now Racing Victoria have decided to change the rules for entrants from overseas which means runners will no longer be required to undergo a nuclear scintigraphy unless it is request by the RV’s Veterinary team.
The scan was seen as a contentious element for Irish and British horses which wished to enter the richest handicap race in the world.
There had much anguish around the rule changes in 2021 however on having an annual review of the changes Racing Victoria have decided to modify the requirements meaning that only a CT scan prior to departure is now required.
Giles Thompson, the outgoing Chief of Racing Victoria said the safety of horses and riders remains there top priority.
“Upon review of the use of scintigraphy scans, it was determined that they now be used in a discretionary manner by our veterinary team,” Thompson said.
“In circumstances where the mandatory CT scans, veterinary history, racing history and/or pre-travel inspections of any international horse indicate that it may be at a heightened risk of a serious injury.
“In doing so, our vets will remain vigilant and not hesitate to use a scintigraphy scan where needed to protect the safety of horses and riders.”
The scintigraphy demand last year was a major bugbear for some UK and Irish trainers as the scan, a tool of last resort to identify injury hot spots, disrupted a horse’s preparation due to the need for sedation.
The shift to CT scans this year has been welcomed, albeit cautiously, by the international participants.
A second CT scan will be required in Australia before each start during the Spring Carnival.
Like last year, all horses – international and local – must undergo a CT scan prior to being allowed to compete in the Melbourne Cup.