An English groom caring for Melbourne Cup contender Brown Panther has been sent home for a breach of quarantine protocol at Werribee where the international horses are housed.
Leigh Jordon, head of Racing Victoria's international recruitment, said the incident would not have any impact on Brown Panther running in the Cup.
The horse is raced by former England striker Michael Owen and is trained by Tom Dascombe.
"We can confirm that one of the stable staff with Brown Panther breached quarantine on Saturday night at the Werribee International Horse Centre when he entered and left the stables without following the necessary protocols around showering and the changing of clothes," Jordon said.
"Following consultation with DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry)and the horse's trainer it has been determined that the staff member will return home to England, whilst another remains to oversee the horse's preparation.
"DAFF are satisfied with the immediate action taken by our quarantine supervisors in ensuring that the staff member was subsequently showered and his clothes detained before leaving the racetrack."
Jordan said the breach hadn't had an impact on any other horses.
Dascombe told the UK's Racing Post the groom was his longest serving member of staff."He's my longest-serving member of staff and I feel very disappointed and let down by him," he said.