Sweet Stream Out of Melbourne Cup, Irwin Says

(from Team Valor release)
French-based Sweet Stream has been withdrawn from consideration for the Melbourne Cup (Aus-I) Nov. 1 at Flemington, Barry Irwin, president of Team Valor, announced Thursday.

The 5-year-old mare won the Park Hill Stakes (Eng-II) at England's Doncaster Racecourse Sept. 7.

"(Trainer) John Hammond told us this afternoon that he cannot properly prepare the mare for the race, and our travel plans with the airlines have also hit a snag," Irwin said. "The quarantine grounds where she is stabled is unsuitable. It is adjacent to an area where wild boars are hunted in the afternoon.

"The mare is no longer thriving under these circumstances, and John cannot get the quality or amount of work into the mare necessary to allow her to be competitive in a race like the Melbourne Cup. If we cannot go with a big chance, then we don't want to go."

Irwin said that his partners, who include Hollywood movie producer Gary Barber of California and international businessman Larry Nestadt of South Africa, are bitterly disappointed.

"We will probably run her once more this fall and go to Hong Kong instead," Irwin commented. "Then there is the newly enriched Sheema at the Dubai Racing Carnival to consider. We probably will run her next year at 6."