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Emergency Situation In Cup

Tuesday, 30th October 2012

Meanwhile, as several key Gr1 Melbourne Cup aspirants queue just behind the maximum 24-horse cut-off point, OTI Racing Director Terry Henderson has shone the spotlight on what he perceives is a potential scene of "international embarrassment" should emergencies not be added to the cup field, reports theage.com.au. A passionate Henderson fired a series of broadsides: "How silly would we look if we have a year when European runners miss out, only for there to be three scratchings on race day? ... We've finally come to grips with the fact that the race is a handicap and you have to earn weight to make the field, but horses are still scratched and others miss runs ... We can put a man on the moon and fight wars in Afghanistan but apparently we can't have emergencies in the Melbourne Cup." Emergencies were taken off the table for the cup in 2010 by the Victoria Racing Club "citing negative impacts on wagering locally and internationally as a determining factor" and VRC Chief Executive Dale Monteith defended its continuing stance: "We [VRC] can't do it unilaterally; we don't control the tote systems or the betting agencies ... We couldn't get the support of RVL, and tote systems around Australia are engineered around 24 runners and because so much pre-race betting on Sunday and Monday occurs, it just doesn't make sense [to change the system].''

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