EXCLUSIVE: Alligator Blood banned from Victorian spring carnival
Headline horse Alligator Blood has been sensationally banned from racing in the Victorian spring carnival.
In a bombshell development, News Corp can exclusively reveal the two-time Group 1 winner has been barred by Victorian integrity officials.
Victoria has followed the NSW lead in banning Alligator Blood from racing, due to owner Allan Endresz’s undischarged bankruptcy status.
“In relation to horses where you hold a majority interest: Stewards will not allow any horse in which you hold a majority share to race in Victoria until: (a) you annul your bankruptcy; and (b) resolve the ownership ascertainment issue to the Stewards’ reasonable satisfaction,” a letter from RV deputy chief steward Rob Montgomery to Endresz reads.
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“For the avoidance of doubt, the prohibition outlined in this section 2 includes the following horses: Alligator Blood and American Pioneer.”
Endresz said he may seek an immediate legal injunction over the matter – he will be on a hook-up with his legal team on Friday.
“We could seek an injunction or appeal the decision to try to keep Alligator Blood going,” Endresz said.
“I could also put an application in that converts 60 per cent of the ownership over to the other owners.
“But then they (integrity officials) say they might need to do due diligence on the finances of the other owners, that’s absurd.
“It’s distressing for Alligator Blood’s fans they have taken this hard-nosed approach, this was a specific rule introduced for me, there is no doubt about that.
“They (Racing Victoria) allowed Alligator Blood’s Cox Plate nomination and now they have done this today.”
Alligator Blood winning the Stradbroke Handicap. Picture: Grant Peters–Trackside Photography
In terms of banning Alligator Blood, Racing Victoria told Endresz “any future ownership application to amend your interest in the racing ownership of the named horses will be subject to stewards review and approval.”
Horses in which Endresz owns a minority interest may be allowed to race in Victoria, subject to stewards’ discretion.
Alligator Blood, trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, was set to be a huge Victorian spring carnival drawcard.
He secured a famous and emotional win in the Stradbroke Handicap, giving Waterhouse her first Stradbroke win and her 150th Group 1 triumph.
Endresz’s wife – terminally ill Joy – was on death’s door when Alligator Blood won the Stradbroke and she passed away the following day but not before waking up and asking if the horse had won.
Bott said he would work with Victorian authorities to try to understand the decision, but rich Hong Kong races in December loomed as one potential option.
As it stands, Alligator Blood can still race in Queensland so there is also the option of the rich Magic Millions day on the Gold Coast in January.
“Where can we race? If it is Magic Millions we will look at that, or if it is an international campaign we will look at that,” Bott said.
Earlier on Thursday, before News Corp broke news Alligator Blood had been banned from the Victorian spring, Endresz also revealed he had nominated the star horse for the Japan Cup in November.
News Corp sighted a letter from Japanese racing officials over the matter.
“We recognise that Alligator Blood is one of the great horses in Australia,” a representative from the Japan Racing Association writes to Endresz.
“The nomination for the Japan Cup will close on 4 October. The JRA Selection Committee will be held as soon as possible after closing.
“We wish Alligator Blood continued success at the spring carnival.”
Allan Endresz with wife Joy, who passed away the day after Alligator Blood won the Stradbroke. Picture: Twitter/Facebook
It is a bold and unorthodox move to even consider as the Japan Cup is run over 2400m and Alligator Blood has never stretched out beyond 1600m.
“They said they were setting Better Loosen Up a task when he won the Japan Cup (in 1990) and this horse (Alligator Blood) has already proved the doubters wrong,” Endresz said.
Alligator Blood headed north from NSW to race in the Queensland winter carnival after Racing Queensland did not follow the NSW decision to ban Endresz-owned horses from racing.
With Alligator Blood banned from racing in Victoria, it has left the headline horse in no man’s land, unable to race in either of Australia’s biggest racing states.
On Thursday morning, the TAB fixed odds market had Alligator Blood as a $26 chance in the Cox Plate.
But after the news he had been banned, TAB removed Alligator Blood from all its spring carnival betting markets including the Cox Plate.
Alligator Blood had been set to have a trial at Cranbourne next Tuesday.