Yellowstone scratched

The Yellowstone saga has ended with the horse’s scratching late today from the Melbourne Cup.

The English stayer’s on-again-off-again Cup campaign came to its conclusion after a panel of three vets examined him twice yesterday.

The first inspection after the horse galloped early today raised doubts among about the extent of his recovery from a hip injury suffered early last week.

A second inspection by the same Racing Victoria Ltd vets and another called in by trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam led to him being withdrawn from tomorrow’s race.

The issue appeared to have been resolved on Saturday when Yellowstone passed a vet test at Flemington.

But the vets became concerned after watching the horse work at the Sandown quarantine centre early today.

Yellowstone became a doubtful runner a week ago after he injured his hip when he tried to roll in a box in the quarantine barn he has been stabled in for the past three weeks.

The incident led to some often bitter sparring between the horse’s trainer, its jockey John Egan and officials.

It ended around six o’clock tonight when connections notified the Victoria Racing Club they were scratching the horse on vets’ advice.

In another twist to the imbroglio, Egan was fined $8,000 by a racing tribunal today for referring to the vest as “tin-pot Hitlers” in a television interview.

Egan pleaded guilty to a charge of bringing racing into disrepute, claiming he had not directed the remark at anyone in particular.

But tribunal chairman Russell Lewis declared his evidence as unsatisfactory and his behaviour as “reprehensible”.

The Cup has now been reduced to 22 starters following the earlier scratching of Zarita.

By Mike Hedge