After Prime Defender came back lame from the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on Friday, trainer Barry Hills is anticipating that the six year old will be ready for a late summer campaign.
In a move that cost jockey Johnny Murtagh a six day ban, his mount, the Aidan O'Brien trained sprinter Starspangledbanner moved across the rail, hampering Prime Defender.
Victorious against Starspangledbanner when claiming his first Pattern success in the Group 2 Duke of York Blue Square Stakes in May, Prime Defender, although entered in the July 24 International Stakes at Ascot, the July 31 Bluesquare.com Stewards' Cup at Glorious Goodwood and the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York on August 20, will most likely not return until the Betfred Sprint Cup according to Hills.
"Prime Defender was the first to be badly hampered at the start of the race when Starspangledbanner made his manoeuvre for the rail, and has come back from the race lame," Hills's website reports.
"He is usually a very sound horse, so hopefully he can return to contest the likes of the Sprint Cup at Haydock later in the season."