The equine stars of Hong Kong racing such as Beauty Generation and Aethero will be able to participate in Australian races after quarantine regulations were relaxed on Monday.
Australia’s Department of Agriculture adjusted the quarantine status between the two racing jurisdictions two years ago due to the opening of the Conghua Training Centre in China.
Horses from Hong Kong had to re-enter Australia through a third country and at least six months after their departure date from Hong Kong with special exception provided to Australian horses Santa Ana Lane and Viddora when travelling to Hong Kong in April.
Australia’s Department of Agriculture visited Conghua during October and were satisfied it met Australia’s standards, restoring full horse movement protocols between the two destinations on Monday.
It means Hong Kong horses can travel directly to Australia and complete two weeks quarantine, as per other European countries such as England, Ireland and France.
“Following on the heels of the interim protocols achieved in March and the successful site visit by officials from Australia’s Department of Agriculture in October, we welcome the confirmation that movements of horses between Australia and Hong Kong can now be fully resumed,” HKJC executive director of racing Andrew Harding told the South China Morning Post.
“This is another strong endorsement of the robustness of biosecurity within the EDFZ and the high-health status of our racehorses at Conghua.
“The high level of commitment by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, General Administration of Customs, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the DA to achieving this outcome is gratefully acknowledged, as is the strong support from the industry in Australia.”
The quarantine laws prevented Hong Kong horses, such as the Caspar Fownes-trained Southern Legend who was a possible competitor for the 2019 Melbourne spring carnival, from travelling to Australia.
John Moore’s sprinting star Aethero has also attracted slotholder interest as a possible runner in next year’s The Everest (1200m) at Randwick in October 2020.