Flemington trainer Saab Hasan, who is still hurting over missing a start in last year’s Melbourne Cup, has criticised a decision to overlook emergencies for the great race.
The Victoria Racing Club announced on Tuesday that it would continue to cap the Melbourne Cup field at 24 horses with no emergencies, despite last year’s race jumping two runners short.
The VRC said an industry review found the software upgrade needed for Tabcorp to handle fields in excess of 24 runners was not financially viable.
It is a decision that frustrates Hasan. His horse Shoreham was 25th in the order of entry for last year’s $6.2 million 3200m showcase, but was left kicking up its heels in a nearby box despite two late scratchings.
Godolphin runner Cavalryman was withdrawn on the morning of the race, while Lloyd Williams’ horse Sea Moon was pulled out the day before.
The field of 24 is finalised without emergencies at the end of Derby Day, but Hasan said it was time for change.
“I don’t accept their reasoning — pay the money, pay the millions (for new software),” he said. “We’ve got to have emergencies, I think it’s a must. It it is time that someone takes a stand.”
Hasan has no doubts Shoreham, which ran seventh behind Signoff in the Lexus Stakes on Derby Day, would have run well.
“We ended up running third in the (3200m) Sandown Cup with 58kg on our back, while we would have started with 53kg in the Cup, which would have given us a huge opportunity,” he said. Full Story Here