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Moody And Hayes Angry On Cup Conditions
Top trainers David Hayes and Peter Moody have weighed into the debate on Gr1 Melbourne Cup qualifying conditions with Hayes suggesting there needs to be a "greater emphasis on current form" and Moody angry that "international form is given far too much kudos by handicappers", reports dailytelegraph.com.au. With Saturday's Gr2 International Cup winner Vatuvei currently languishing in 44th position in the cup order of entry Moody noted: "If this horse had won a five-horse Irish St Leger with three pacemakers and beaten a Galway maiden hurdle winner, he'd be guaranteed a start ... Or if he'd run first five in an Epsom Derby, beaten 27.3 lengths, his rating would be high enough to get in." Hayes agreed, suggesting "here and now races" (including the Gr2 Herbert Power Stakes, Gr3 Geelong Cup and Gr2 Moonee Valley International Cup) should be automatic qualifying events and that "there's something very wrong" with the fact that they aren't. He commented: "How is it that these key mile and a half (2400m) races within six weeks of the Melbourne Cup are not exempt races? ... There has to be a better system. If a horse like [Gr3 Geelong Cup winner] Gatewood, winning the key lead-up races, cannot gain a start, then there's something wrong." Moody added that key Australia-wide staying events (Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane Cups) should be linked to cup qualifying conditions noting, "We need to give local stayers more of a chance to get in."