'Sad story': Melbourne Cup rocked by 'serious' injury

Chris Young
Sports Reporter

Melbourne Cup runner Rostropovich has been taken from the Flemington race course for veterinary treatment after pulling up lame.

Jockey Dwayne Dunn pulled the five-year-old up early after he realised there was something wrong.

Australian runner Vow and Declare went on to win the race.

In a press release soon after the race, Racing Victoria confirmed the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained hopeful had been taken from the racecourse for treatment, after being declared lame.

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“Racing Victoria (RV) stewards advise that the Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig-trained Rostropovich was inspected by RV veterinarians following the running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse today and was found to be lame,” the statement read.

“After receiving veterinary care on the course, the horse has been transported to the University of Melbourne Equine Centre for further assessment.”

Irish horse Rostropovich has been taken to a Werribee veterinary facility after pulling up lame in the 2019 Melbourne Cup. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

Trainer David Hayes said Rostropovich was having trouble standing under its own power.

“He couldn’t weight bear, but I think with a lot of painkillers he’s relieved,” Hayes said.

“It’s a sad story anyway.”

Rostropovich finished last in the race, and the injury, a suspected broken pelvis, riled anti-racing advocates and animal welfare groups on social media.

Trainers and connections will be hoping any potential injury to Rostropovich will not be life-threatening, after the death of Irish horse TheCliffsofmoher in last year’s Melbourne Cup.

It follows the death of Admire Rakti in 2014, who collapsed in the stalls after the race, and Red Cadeaux, who was euthanised at the track in 2017 after a serious leg injury.

Later updates from Racing Victoria confirmed a stress fracture in Rostropovich’s pelvis, but that the five-year-old was in a stable condition.