Emergencies mooted for Cup field

THE Melbourne Cup could have emergencies as soon as next year.

Victoria Racing Club chairman Amanda Elliot confirmed this morning that discussions with Tabcorp to solve issues around having two emergencies would be ramped up before next year's race.

Elliot said it was "disappointing" this year's Cup would have only 23 runners after Who Shot Thebarman was scratched on Sunday afternoon with an elevated temperature.

That left connections of Geelong Cup winner Vengeur Masque, which was 25th in the final order of entry, without a start in the race for the second straight year.

"We're hoping to have emergencies in the Cup next year," Elliot told RSN this morning.

"It's a sort of legacy situation that has been around for a long time. As I understand it years ago it was because the technology couldn't cope with the amount of pre-post betting, and then to have a scratching.

VRC chairman Amanda Elliot and legendary Melbourne Cup-winning Jockey Roy Higgins.
VRC chairman Amanda Elliot and legendary Melbourne Cup-winning Jockey Roy Higgins.

"Tabcorp have lots of different theories why its not possible to have two emergencies. We are going to go back and try and sort that out with them."

There are no emergencies in the Melbourne Cup because the costs involved in upgrading betting technology and terminals around the country is seen as too great for one race.

Tabcorp spokesman Adam Hamilton said it was not against further review of the emergencies situation.

"We are happy to reopen talks with the VRC and Racing Victoria around the emergencies issue if they wish to do so," Hamilton said.

Elliot, who said 2018 would be a year of great change within racing, wants to get the issue sorted before next year's race.

Reigning Melbourne Cup champion Almandin, owner Lloyd Williams, VRC chairman Amanda Elliott and 2007 winner Efficient at Macedon Lodge this year. Picture: Karon Photography
Reigning Melbourne Cup champion Almandin, owner Lloyd Williams, VRC chairman Amanda Elliott and 2007 winner Efficient at Macedon Lodge this year. Picture: Karon Photography

"I think, particularly when you see who missed out, some of them have paid the $150,000 and come here on the off chance that they will get the run. So to go off with 23 is disappointing," Elliot said.

"I see that as a challenge and one we need to solve.

"I have had the conversation with David Attenborough (Tabcorp chief executive) a couple of times and we will keep having it. Hopefully with an outcome that suits everyone.

"It's got to be able to be manageable. we'll work with them to try and achieve that."

 

Reigning Melbourne Cup champion Almandin, owner Lloyd Williams, VRC chairman Amanda Elliott and 2007 winner Efficient at Macedon Lodge this year. Picture: Karon Photography
Reigning Melbourne Cup champion Almandin, owner Lloyd Williams, VRC chairman Amanda Elliott and 2007 winner Efficient at Macedon Lodge this year. Picture: Karon Photography

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