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Gallopers Massimo, Come Play With Me could be caught up in Queensland health authorities’ COVID measures

WA gallopers Massimo and Come Play With Me risk being caught up in Queensland’s strict COVID measures on a horse flight to Brisbane’s carnival.

Horse flight co-ordinator Chris Calthorpe, scheduled to fly 15 gallopers including the WA pair from Melbourne to Queensland next week, said yesterday their trip was in jeopardy.

Massimo and Come Play With Me are booked to fly from Perth on Tuesday and board a Queensland-bound air freighter arranged by Calthorpe.

“Authorities have imposed a strict 14-day quarantine on our flight because the horses will be aboard a freighter that’s flying in from Hong Kong,” Calthorpe said.

“I’ve organised horse space from Melbourne on the freighter that’s travelling from Hong Kong to Victoria and then stopping off in Queensland on its route back to Hong Kong.

“Trainers’ key staff are booked to travel with the horses and health authorities are insisting that all stable personnel will have to be taken direct from the Queensland airport to two weeks of quarantine.”

Adam Durrant’s father Geoff, a part-owner of Come Play With Me, said yesterday connections would closely monitor regulations on the Queensland flight out of Melbourne.

“Our horses are booked to leave here on Tuesday night and land in Melbourne,” Geoff Durrant said yesterday. “They are then scheduled to fly onwards to Brisbane.

“We obviously don’t want them to endure a road trip from Melbourne to Queensland.”

Massimo, who won a Lark Hill barrier trial in fast time on Monday, is aimed at an Eagle Farm race over 1300m on Saturday week.

Come Play With Me, who has won a Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Randwick, is due to tackle the Premier’s Cup at Eagle Farm on Saturday week and the Brisbane Cup on June 12.

Melbourne trainers are preparing to take top gallopers Ayrton and Explosive Jack to Brisbane by road.

Co-trainer Mick Price said star sprinter Ayrton would run at Eagle Farm on Saturday week ahead of the $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap, for which he is favourite.

Top Melbourne jockey Jamie Kah will ride Ayrton on Saturday week, but cannot reduce to 49.5kg for the Stradbroke mount on him and will be replaced by Sydney lightweight Rachel King.

Explosive Jack won his third Derby when triumphing in last Saturday’s SA Derby.

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