Luxembourg ruled out of Champion Stakes date

Aidan O’Brien has been forced to rule Luxembourg out of the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday week.

The four-year-old has won a Group One in each of his three seasons on the track but will not get the chance to add to his tally on October 21.

Having beaten Bay Bridge in the Tattersalls Gold Cup in May, he was second to Mostahdaf in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes before failing to see out a mile and a half in the King George.

He was last seen giving stablemate Auguste Rodin a fright in the Irish Champion Stakes – a race he won last season – when going down by half a length.

Champions Day had been his aim but a foot problem will prevent him from lining up.

Speaking at the Curragh on Thursday, O’Brien said: “Luxembourg doesn’t run in the Champion Stakes as he has a little bit of a foot (injury).”

St Leger winner Continuous could now line up in the Champion Stakes for O’Brien, with international options on the horizon for Luxembourg once he has recovered.

Expanding on the issue to Racing TV, O’Brien said: “It’s an infection in his foot, so Continuous might go instead as he came out of the Arc very well.

“It’s only an abscess, he had it four four and five days and it wasn’t clearing up. The lads had to give him a shot of Bute and put him on antibiotics and obviously when you do that, it takes him out of the race.

“He cantered this morning, he’ll do two tomorrow but obviously the race is going to come too quick now.

“There’s every chance he could run again – he could go to America, Japan or Hong Kong.”

Doncaster hero Continuous would be taking another step back in distance if he lines up at Ascot, having dropped from the Leger trip of 14 furlongs to finish fifth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe over a mile and a half at the start of the month.

O’Brien added: “Continuous ran a great race in the Arc, he just got trapped back a bit but he finished off well and Ryan (Moore) was over the moon.

“If he goes to Ascot he won’t mind if the ground is easy or if it’s on the quicker side, he’s very versatile.”

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