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Man apprehended after punching female groom

VICTORY turned ugly for a female groom at Flemington on Thursday when she was punched in the face by an employee of Sheikh Mohammed's Australian trainer Peter Snowden just moments after watching her horse win.

The 27-year-old strapper was in the paddock awaiting the return of her Kelly Doughty-trained winner Black Cash when a man wearing a blue Darley jacket attacked her in full view of racegoers and officials.

He was later apprehended when security guards pulled him off a motorcycle as he attempted to flee the track.

Among the witnesses to the assault was Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey, who said: "The man was standing behind the young lady as she was waiting to collect the winner when he hit her with a full fist in the right side of her cheek.

"She has some swelling and some bruising but thankfully no broken bones. It was an unsavoury incident and she went to hospital but as much as anything she is in shock.

"We understand it was a domestic situation that was unfortunately brought on to a racecourse. There was nothing that could be done to prevent it."

Police later confirmed a 31-year-old was in custody and added that the two grooms are believed to be known to each other.

Darley Australia managing director Henry Plumptre described the incident as a police matter and declined to comment further.

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