Flu kills spring carnival
August 30, 2007 - 2:44PM
Sydney's racing spring carnival is off with confirmation that eight out of 10 racehorses at Anthony Cummings's stable at Randwick racecourse have tested positive for horse flu.
NSW Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said the positive tests spelled the death knell for Sydney's spring carnival, with Randwick racecourse to be quarantined for about two months.
The quarantine would extend for 30 days from the last case of the flu and was expected to go through the Randwick site quickly, he told a media conference today.
Peter V'Landys, the chief executive of Racing NSW said: "This is a dark, dark day for racing."
Ten horses from Cummings's stable were tested, with eight returning positive results to the flu.
They are the first racehorses to test positive since the beginning of the nation's flu crisis.
Until today, the flu had been restricted to the pleasure horse industry.
The first sign of the flu among racehorses came overnight, with the results of initial tests taken from the Cummings-trained Paxton showing the gelding had the highly contagious virus.
About 700 racehorses are trained at Randwick and most are expected to eventually be affected by the virus.
There was some good news, however. The flu testing of racehorses at Warwick Farm, Rosehill, Newcastle and Dubbo courses had all proven negative, Mr Macdonald said.