Australia’s strict quarantine regulations could again cost us some big name internationals if the guidelines aren’t looked at according to Australian jockey Craig Williams.
Williams has just finished a highly successful stint riding overseas in Japan, a place he’s become very familiar with as he’s travelled there on a number of occasions.
Not only has Williams performed extremely well on track, he’s also well engrained in the thinking and processes of people off track as well.
He says Japanese horses are on par with any other racing nation in the world and they would be a major drawcard were they to travel down under, especially during the spring.
Red tape though continues to be a massive detractor for overseas interests looking at Australia.
“Most of the Japanese concern is to do with the Australian Quarantine regulations, ” Williams said.
At the moment a horse coming from Japan would be some kind control for two months.
Two weeks of which would be spent in isolation well away from any outside contact.
Williams says is they do make the trip they would be a massive threat in our biggest events.
“If the Japanese do come they are of top quality, especially from the mile onwards,” he said.
“Definitely their staying ranks are very superior.”
He says an increasing number of their horses are winning big events on the world stage, so much so that their very top echelon probably wouldn’t make the trip for weight reasons.
” Their highest rated horses would be too highly handicapped for the Caulfield Cup or Melbourne Cup,” he said.
Australia has of course felt the full force of a Japanese assault before when Delta Blues and Pop Rock went one two in the 2006 Melbourne Cup.
Both those horses were trained by Katsuhiko Sumii, a man Williams has been involved with in a stint where he’s shaken things up a bit in 2011.
“It worked out really well, before I decided to go back this year I had to work out what the options were,” he said.
“I ended up having a new agent, new trainer and a new owner.
“I did really well, having the new agent really worked, I was really happy with the people I rode for.
“My owners one of the biggest four people in Japanese racing.”
Williams is now back in Australia where he’ll have a break before starting spring preparations.
He just couldn’t help himself putting is toe in the water though, he has one ride at Sale today taking the reins of a horse owned by a friend.