Karl Stefanovic a no-show at Caulfield Cup amid Today rumours

Jasmine Yarbrough flying solo at the Caulfield Cup.

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Karl Stefanovic was a late scratching from Saturday’s Caulfield Cup amid speculation about the future of his hosting gig on Today.

Stefanovic had been due to join his girlfriend, shoe designer Jasmine Yarbrough, at the races in Melbourne but in the wake of the sudden defection of co-host Lisa Wilkinson to Channel Ten during the week clearly had a change of heart. 

Caulfield Cup raises the bar – literally

As a pop-up West Hollywood bar rose from the lawns for the 2017 Caulfield Cup, Donna Demaio caught up with the celebrities trackside.

Yarbrough was a special guest of the Melbourne Racing Club and David Jones, which will begin stocking her Mara and Mine shoe label from next month. 

Arriving fashionably late to the Cup, Yarbrough said it had been a “full-on” week for the couple, who met last December after Stefanovic separated from his wife, Cassandra Thorburn, in September 2016.

“The paparazzi have been outside the house every day … but Karl’s amazing, he just takes it in his stride,” she said. “He keeps doing what he does, supports his friends,” Yarbrough said.

She said Stefanovic was definitely coming to Derby Day at Flemington, “so keep the Champagne on ice”.

“It’s definite, it’s a work commitment whereas this was social,” she explained.

Yarbrough said last-minute  “family commitments” forced him to cancel his Caulfield appearance, “and that’s important to him”.

“He’ll make up for it at Derby Day.”

Yarbrough said she had enjoyed meeting Stefanovic’s extended family, especially his mother, Jenny, 

“She’s awesome, she’s a strong woman, very sweet. She loves her boys, and her [daughter].”

Stefanovic has a younger brother, Peter, who also works for Nine, and an older sister, Elisa, who is a teacher in Byron Bay.

Wilkinson’s dramatic exit from Nine earlier this week sent shockwaves through the media and entertainment industry. Wilkinson, 57, is believed to have quit after Nine bosses refused to give her pay parity with Stefanovic, 43. 

On Saturday morning, some reports in News Limited suggested Stefanovic could jump to A Current Affair if host Tracy Grimshaw made a change at the network when her current contract expires at the end of the year. 

Fairfax Media has contacted Stefanovic’s management for comment. 

Actress Pia Miller, who stars on Home and Away, was also a late withdrawal from Saturday’s Cup due to “unexpected personal and family circumstances”, according to a spokeswoman. 

Miller recently announced she was quitting the long-running soap and will star in Nine’s new thriller series Bite Club in 2018. 

Other stars who appeared at the Caulfield Cup included actress Rachael Taylor, and David Jones ambassadors Jesinta Franklin, Jess Gomes and Adam Goodes. 

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