Defending champion Magician has been ruled out of a repeat bid for glory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita on Saturday, having been found to be acutely lame on his off-fore.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained colt beat The Fugue by a half a length last year in a pulsating renewal, cutting down John Gosden’s filly in the shadow of the post under an inspired Ryan Moore.
Magician has not run since finishing second in the Arlington Million in Chicago in August, but hopes were high for another big effort before he retires to Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Kentucky.
However, he was found to be lame on Wednesday morning.
Coolmore spokesman Richard Henry said: “He is lame, he was examined by Dr Vince Baker and John Halley and won’t run.”
Quoted on BloodHorse.com, O’Brien said: “It’s very disappointing.
“We were looking forward to him, really, we thought he was coming back to where he was for the Breeders’ Cup here last year. Just when he came out for his trot, he was acutely lame.
“This is the race we were looking at all year with him. Obviously we hadn’t got him back to where he was last year, this year yet. But everything through the year had been to come here.
“We were just dialling him gently, gently, until this was the one we were starting to push him for. It’s just a big pity.”
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