New Zealand horses are to be treated as locals so won't be greatly affected by sweeping new changes covering international runners in an attempt to end the horror run of Melbourne Cup fatalities.
The new changes could increase the number of New Zealand-trained horses who start in the Melbourne Cup as it will rule some European horses out of the iconic race.
Racing Victoria and the Victoria Racing Club have announced the plan to "set a new global safety benchmark" for horses competing in Melbourne during the spring, with 41 of 44 review recommendations endorsed by the RV Board.
The number of international (trained in the Northern Hemisphere) horses permitted at the Werribee International Quarantine Centre will be capped at 24, down from 42 in 2018 and 29 last year, and these horses will only be permitted one lead-up run in Australia.
International horses will have to undergo a series of pre-export tests, at the expense of their owners, as well as having to be available for a further pre-export test from an RV-appointed vet, before having to comply with a number of pre-race tests while in quarantine at Werribee.
Any international horse who has suffered a previous fracture or undergone orthopaedic surgery will not be permitted to come to Australia.
The recommendations also include the retention of the Werribee International Horse Centre as Victoria's quarantine centre, with enhancements to be made to aid horse welfare.
While some Kiwi trainers could have feared the terminology of "international" and "overseas" horses, meaning those trained here, Racing Victoria officials have confirmed to the Herald that New Zealand horses are not subject to the new regulations.
They will be permitted to campaign as normal in Australia with the only new regulation that covers them being a CT scan that must be performed on all horses hoping to start in the Melbourne Cup in the weeks leading up to the race.
New Zealand-trained horses who have that scan and are passed fit to start may also start in lead-up races to the Melbourne Cup whereas international horses will not be allowed to race between their scan and starting in the Cup.
The new strict regulations come after a disproportionately high number of international horses in the last decade, effectively European or Japanese-trained, have died either during the Melbourne Cup or while being trained for it.
The regulations and restrictions will almost certainly see fewer European-trained horses start in the Melbourne Cup either because they don't pass all the new testing regimes or their connections won't risk sending them to Australia because of the increased risk of having them withdrawn once they are there.
That could mean more spots in the Cup for New Zealand-trained horses who were a far bigger factor in the race a decade or two ago before the massive international invasion started.
For example, this season Cambridge-trained galloper The Chosen One was fourth in the Cup and the three horses who beat him home were Northern Hemisphere-trained.
Just by sheer weight of numbers their influence over the race looks certain to diminish now and provide more opportunities for Australasian gallopers. but most importantly stem the tide of horrific and often fatal accidents involving Northern Hemisphere horses who do not seem as suited to racing on the tracks in Australia which are generally firmer than what they race on in Europe.