Top Irish galloper Scorpion, likely favorite for the Nov. 6 Aus$5 million Melbourne Cup (Aus-I), has been withdrawn from the classic at Australia’s Flemington Racecourse after trainer Aidan O’Brien reported the Montjeu colt was lame.
Owned by the Coolmore Stud interests of John Magnier and Michael Tabor, the 5-year-old colt won the Vodafone Coronation Cup (Eng-I) this year and placed in the Irish Dield St. Leger (Ire-I), Hardwicke Stakes (Eng-II), and Blue Square Ormond Stakes. Overall, he has four victories and six runner-up efforts in 15 starts, with converted earnings of $1.7 million.
The Oct. 30 defection of Scorpion is the second major setback for Coolmore and O’Brien in recent days. The pair’s top horse George Washington sustained a catastrophic in the Breeders’ Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) Oct. 27 and was euthanized.