Racing Victoria (RV) advised on Wednesday that the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture (DA) has granted permission for Japanese-trained mare Lys Gracieux (JPN) to travel to Victoria to compete in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate at The Valley on Saturday, 26 October 2019.
Having competed in the QEII Cup in Hong Kong on 28 April 2019, Lys Gracieux did not meet the standard country residence requirements for importation to Australia.
Following a joint submission from RV and global horse transporters IRT, DA conducted a detailed biosecurity assessment which gave consideration to the individual circumstances of the case.
Having done so, DA granted approval on the basis of the existing stringent biosecurity requirements in place for racehorses travelling to Victoria via the Werribee International Horse Centre (WIHC), and that the horse will undergo additional pre-export testing.
RV's General Manager – International and Racing Operations, Paul Bloodworth, said: “We thank the Department of Agriculture for their thorough assessment and carefully considered position on the approval for Lys Gracieux to enter Victoria this October.
“We also thank IRT for their support on our joint submission and for their ongoing efforts in coordinating the travel of the world’s best racehorses to Victoria for the Spring Racing Carnival.
“This decision is a vote of confidence in the Werribee International Horse Centre, our industry-owned quarantine facility for thoroughbred racehorses in training, and the approved pre-export quarantine facilities in Japan.
“This decision paves the way for the connections of Lys Gracieux to accept an invitation to compete in the Cox Plate, and I’m pleased to announce that the mare’s connections have accepted their invitation overnight.”
Lys Gracieux, a five-year-old mare trained by Yoshito Yahagi, secured her invitation from Moonee Valley Racing Club to contest the Cox Plate (2040m) by winning the Group 1 Takarazuka Kinen (2200m) in Japan at her most recent start, on 23 June 2019.
Note - Under the conditions of the Ladbrokes Cox Plate International Bonus, as the winner of the 2019 Takarazuka Kinen, Lys Gracieux would win AUD$3M (¥225,000,000) first prizemoney plus a AUD$2M (¥150,000,000) bonus (total prizemoney plus bonus AUD$5M or ¥375,000,000) if the mare was to be successful in the 2019 Ladbrokes Cox Plate.
Lys Gracieux (JPN) at Sha Tin, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club