Little Big Bear will miss out on a planned appearance in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville on Sunday after suffering a stone bruise.
The No Nay Never colt was brilliant in winning four of his five starts as as a juvenile, but his three-year-old campaign has so far not quite gone according to plan.
Aidan O’Brien’s charge returned lame after contesting the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket – and while he bounced back to winning ways in the Sandy Lane at Haydock under Frankie Dettori, he had to make do with the runner-up spot behind Shaquille in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
Having subsequently endured a nightmare passage in the July Cup, Little Big Bear was on Thursday supplemented for the Deauville feature at a cost of almost €30,000. However, he was not declared on Friday morning and O’Brien revealed why he we will not be making the trip to France this weekend.
“He just has a stone bruise so he doesn’t run,” said the Ballydoyle handler.
In Little Big Bear’s absence a field of 10 are set to go to post for the six-and-a-half-furlong Group One, including a seven-strong British contingent.
The raiding party is headed Tim Easterby’s Art Power, who a fortnight ago won the Group Two Sapphire Stakes to maintain his unbeaten record at the Curragh.
Karl Burke saddles Hackwood Stakes third Cold Case as well as Spycatcher, who heads back across the Channel following a Group Three success at Deauville four weeks ago.
Archie Watson’s Saint Lawrence, the David Evans-trained Rohaan, Andrew Balding’s Sandrine and Brad The Brief from Hugo Palmer’s yard are also in the mix.