Brown Panther groom sent home after security breach
Last Updated: 28/10/13 12:27pm
Tom Dascombe: Will arrive in Australia shortly
Trainer Tom Dascombe's head lad Andy Jackson, who had been looking after Michael Owen's Emirates Melbourne Cup hope Brown Panther, has been sent back to England following a breach of security.
Jackson was told to leave after failing to adhere to the strict quarantine regulations on Saturday at the Werribee centre, which houses international horses ahead of the Flemington feature tomorrow week.
Racing Victoria International recruitment officer Leigh Jordon consulted with government officials and Dascombe before it was determined the stablehand should be told to leave.
Jordon would not name Jackson, but Dascombe's assistant Colin Gorman confirmed it was the head lad at the centre of the storm.
"As you can understand security around the centre is tight but for some reason the groom jumped some fences to get in and out," said Jordon.
"It was a totally inappropriate thing to do but it is a testimony to our set up that we managed to catch him and get him showered.
"It's a secure area and not everyone has to shower each time they go in, I go down every morning for instance, but there are designated areas for entry and exit and people must enter and exit in a certain way and that obviously hasn't been followed in this case.
"We discussed it with the government and the only solution was that he should not be allowed back into quarantine, that was the logical conclusion.
"It seems a very strange thing to do and it is a pretty severe breach. Our systems are verified by the government, though, and they are very happy with them.
"In the past we have had the odd case of a breach but nothing on this scale. It's very unfortunate but I must stress the horse has not missed a beat and is still on song. I hope we can all move on now.
"I must say that Tom has been fantastic through all this, he's been very professional, but I can understand how tough it must be and it is a senior member of his staff.
"I understand Tom is on his way out here very shortly."