Aidan O’Brien was dealt another blow with the news Scorpion could miss the Emirates Melbourne Cup on Tuesday week.
The three-time Group One winner pulled up lame after a track gallop and is rated a doubtful starter for the world’s richest handicap at Flemington.
Scorpion was put through his paces with stablemate Mahler over seven furlongs at Sandown racecourse on Monday morning but was found to be sore after the work-out.
The son of Montjeu, whose big-race triumphs include the 2005 St Leger and this season’s Coronation Cup, is as low as 11-1 to win the Melbourne Cup off top weight – but his participation is now in jeopardy.
James Bester, spokesman for Coolmore supremo John Magnier, said tests would be done on Monday evening, with the results to be known on Tuesday morning.
“Tom Magnier (of Coolmore) has spoken to Aidan O’Brien, who is in Los Angeles and informed him of Scorpion’s problems,” said Bester.
“Scorpion is showing signs of lameness and Aidan has ordered X-rays be taken of the horse this evening.
“We do not expect the results until tomorrow morning.
“Aidan was specific that he wanted to let the racing and betting public know that Scorpion has suffered a setback.
“Aidan admitted there is now a possibility that Scorpion might not run in the Melbourne Cup,” Bester told the Daily Telegraph in Australia.
Scorpion’s setback exacerbates a wretched few days for O’Brien, whose Breeders’ Cup dreams ended in despair after George Washington was humanely destroyed after the 5million Classic on Saturday.