Sports

Melbourne Cup thrown into chaos just one week out as strict new system to prevent deaths breaks down


THE Melbourne Cup has been thrown into chaos just one week out after the strict new system brought in to prevent deaths broke down.

After a number of fatalities in recent years, racing bosses have moved to make the contest much safer.

Trackwork for the Melbourne Cup takes place amid testing behind the scenes descending into chaos just one week out from the big race

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Trackwork for the Melbourne Cup takes place amid testing behind the scenes descending into chaos just one week out from the big raceCredit: Getty

But the CT scanner used to check a horse’s fitness and detect any unknown injuries has crashed.

The malfunction of the £700,000 scanner was said to be a ‘world-first’.

Reports said only 19 of the 35 horses entered into the ‘race that stops a nation’ had been tested.

Racing Victoria is working with the manufacturer to find a replacement part for the CT scanner from the US.

But there is no guarantee it will arrive in time due to delays in postage brought about by Covid.

The £4.3million Melbourne Cup takes place a week today – Tuesday, November 2 – at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne.

Despite the last-minute headache and delays, bosses are said to be hopeful of having a back-up machine in place by Thursday.

The scanner is at the U-Vet Equine Centre in Werribee, a suburb of Melbourne.

The horses who did not pass through the machine will have to have high detail x-rays taken.

Joseph O’Brien recently hit out at the ‘nightmare’ procedures horses travelling to Australia have to go through.

O’Brien, who plundered the Cox Plate last Saturday with State Of Rest and enters defending Melbourne Cup champ Twilight Payment in the race again, said: “I can’t tell you how much of a struggle it was to get through all the hoops and the scans.

“If I’d known how difficult it would’ve been to get through all the hoops, I’m not sure we would have even gone down in the first place.

“Luckily, we have a great team of people and vets, as well as the team in the office who managed all the logistics and we managed to get it over the line.

“But really, it was a struggle and I’d like to think that in the years to come, they’d be reviewing the protocols that they have in place for us each year.

“It’s some of the top racing in the world and you’ve got great prize-money and great competition.”

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