Call To Battle has been ruled out of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby with a foot abscess.
The King’s Best colt, third to Mickdaam in the Chester Vase on his latest start, would have been an outsider behind hot favourite Camelot, the 2000 Guineas and Investec Derby hero.
However, Call To Battle’s trainer John Oxx could still be represented by Akeed Mofeed and Born To Sea in the colts’ Classic at the Curragh on Saturday evening.
“Call To Battle has a foot abscess. It’s quite nasty and rules him out at the weekend,” said Oxx.
The Currabeg handler reports Akeed Mofeed over the injury problems that have delayed his seasonal reappearance, but admits it has been a battle to get him ready for the race.
Akeed Mofeed showed his well-being on Wednesday morning when doing some light exercise on the nine-furlong all-weather round gallop.
“Twelve weeks ago next Tuesday he took his first lame step,” said Oxx.
“He was off for 17 days, and the Tuesday before the Derrinstown Derby Trial he pulled a muscle and was off for three weeks.
“It’s not been a great preparation and he’s had a tough regime to get him ready.
“He’s taken the work well and did a hard bit of work on Tuesday.
“We’ve always liked him. I hope he’s fit enough to run a big race. I’d be disappointed if he doesn’t prove to be a good one.
“We’ve never run a horse first time out in the Derby.
“It’s not an ideal situation, but probably the worst thing that can happen is that he’ll get tired.
“Hopefully we’ll learn from it.”
A final decision has yet to be made on whether Born To Sea takes his chance after being in action only last week at Royal Ascot, when fourth in the St James’s Palace Stakes.
“He’s going from strength to strength,” said Oxx.
“All the rain is a bit of a worry. I’d like to see him on a bit of fast ground, but he’s got his brother’s (Sea The Stars’) constitution. He takes everything in and doesn’t worry.
“He’s thriving from race to race and putting on weight.
“I’ll talk to the owners and make a final decision, but I expect he will run.
“This horse is quite settled now in his races and I think he can take another race. The opportunity is there to try him at a longer trip.
“He’ll definitely like a mile and a quarter, but going straight from a mile to a mile and a half in one swoop is a bit risky.
“In the circumstances, we have to take a chance.”