Desert Crown will miss York’s Juddmonte International Stakes on Wednesday after suffering a fresh injury.
Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, last year’s Derby hero has been seen just once since his Epsom triumph, when meeting with his first career defeat at the hands of Hukum in Sandown’s Brigadier Gerard Stakes.
He subsequently missed the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot through a setback, while a leg infection ruled him out of a rematch with Hukum in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes last month.
A showdown on the Knavesmire with Aidan O’Brien’s Paddington and Royal Ascot scorer Mostahdaf was inked in for the son of Nathaniel, but his career is now on hold having reportedly pulled up lame during morning exercise on Sunday.
Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Saeed Suhail, told the Racing Post: “He’s got quite a bad injury and I’m just heading to the equine hospital now. He won’t be running at York.”
With news of Desert Crown’s absence, Coral have cut Paddington to 4-7 from 4-6 for the feature of the opening day of York’s Ebor Festival.
“Following the disappointing news that Desert Crown will not be in Wednesday’s Juddmonte International line-up, Paddington is now an even firmer favourite for the York showpiece, with Mostahdaf his closest market rival for what is sure to be a small but select field,” said Coral’s David Stevens.