Gai Waterhouse hammers report of letter calling for Melbourne Cup change

Hall Of Fame trainer Gai Waterhouse has slapped down a Sydney media report that stated New South Wales trainers have called for Racing Australia to take over the running of the Melbourne Cup.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported the NSW Trainers’ Association has written a letter to Racing Australia calling for the organisation to oversee the running of the race.

Horse welfare in the Melbourne Cup hit the headlines again in the wake of another death, that of Irish galloper Anthony Van Dyck, in last Tuesday’s race.

“The NSWTA is very concerned that if this matter is left to the Victoria Racing Club and Racing Victoria to address, then the trend will continue and do further harm to our industry,” the newspaper reported the letter as reading.

“We believe the catastrophic breakdowns and deaths of so many horses during the Melbourne Spring Carnival, and in our showcase race the Melbourne Cup, have become an existential threat to horse racing across Australia.”

But Waterhouse was having none of it, blasting the report via Twitter on Monday morning, saying champion Sydney trainer Chris Waller also distanced himself from the report.

Waller’s stable endorsed Waterhouse’s remarks with a retweet.

Anthony Van Dyck’s death in last Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup has spawned plenty of fallout. Photo: Brett Holburt/Racing Photos via Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

“Both @cwallerracing & I are shocked at … absurd piece suggesting we would support Racing Australia taking over the Melbourne Cup,” Waterhouse wrote.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. The VRC has made the Cup Australia‘s best racing event by so far.

“Outrageous to suggest otherwise.”

NSW Trainers’ Association chief executive Richard Callander said the Sydney Morning Herald report misrepresented the point of the letter to Racing Australia.

“The NSWTA are also shocked and disappointed at the incorrect article that was published,” Callander tweeted from his personal Twitter account.

“The NSWTA commend the VRC for its promotion and running of the Melbourne Cup.

“NSWTA are about the improvement of animal welfare and asked Racing Australia to lead the way.”

Both Racing Victoria and the Victoria Racing Club treated the report with contempt in media interviews on Monday.

“I thought it was actually in the comedy section of the paper when that came up,” the VRC racing boss Leigh Jordon told RSN.

“That’s probably all we need to discuss really on that.”

Originally published asGai slaps down Melbourne Cup report

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