Limited Flights Available to WA for Horses to Make Ascot Carnival

Mon 9th November 2020

The Ascot Racing Carnival looks to have a limited amount of invaders from the eastern states ready to line up this year, due to a lack of flights into Western Australia.

Due to COVID-19 border restrictions, just a handful of horses from the eastern states have made it to Perth in time for the Ascot Racing Carnival, with the first Group 1 of the carnival, the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) to be run on November 28th.

Godolphin have managed to get Trekking and Kementari across to Western Australia in time, while Matthew Williams has Gailo Chop out west.

There are a number of hard luck stories of horses that were planning to run in the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) that will not make it in time, including last year’s winner Hey Doc, as well as Kemelpasa, and Fiesta.

Chris Calthorpe from Air Horse Transport said that the COVID-19 border restrictions had greatly affected the usual transportation of horses to the Ascot Carnival.

“The only one from the eastern states that will be there for the Winterbottom is Trekking,” Calthorpe said.

“We took him over after the Manikato, which wasn’t ideal. But I said to (trainer) James (Cummings) that if you don’t get there now, you may not get there.

“The Premier has shut the border, so they won’t get anyone. The Perth carnival is going to suffer.

“I’ve done a flight out of Sydney last week and the week before that. Kementari and Trekking went, and Gailo Chop two weeks ago.

“Last week I took Bob (Peters’) two Windstorm and Superstorm and Trap For Fools.

“It’s obviously going to be not a very strong Winterbottom, not a very strong Railway.”

“Normally we do a charter. We had a charter booked for the 16th, but because of COVID and the Premier not letting people in, Perth racing pulled the pin on it,” he said.

“It’s a pity because I had a lot of interest in it.

“So I have a plane scheduled for the 30th, but it’ll miss the Winterbottom, miss the Railway. It’ll accommodate horses who want to go for the Kingston Town.”

From Muswellbrook to the Melbourne Cup, Will is mad about all things racing and sport. Spent countless hours in the backyard as a child pretending to be Glenn McGrath, and has been known to get deadly late swing with a taped tennis ball.