Telecaster has been taken out of Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after a late setback.
His absence is a huge blow to connections, given the son of New Approach seemed assured to have his favoured soft conditions. Following a further 3.5 millimetres of rain overnight, the ground is described as very soft – with a penetrometer reading of 4.0 and further rain forecast through the week.
Trained by Hughie Morrison, Telecaster won the Dante last year – beating Too Darn Hot – but he arguably put up a career-best display last time out when winning the Grand Prix de Deauville by six and a half lengths.
It was his second win in France this year, following a Group Three success at ParisLongchamp in June.
Mark Weinfeld, of owners Castle Down Stud, said: “It’s a real shame, but this is what can happen with horses – he’s just wasn’t 100 per cent sound this morning.
“We’re absolutely gutted. It’s nothing too serious, but it’s just sod’s law.
“He’s in the Champion Stakes at Ascot – and as I haven’t heard what the vet has said, I’m not sure if he’ll make that or not. We just need to know what the problem is.
“It would be nice if he made Ascot, because that is likely to be soft ground too. It’s rather deflated the week, though.”
Looking further ahead, Weinfeld added: “I think he’ll probably stay in training next year.
“I was hoping we’d have had a good offer from a stud by now – but nothing has come yet, so we could continue next year and hope for a wet year.
“We’re all very disappointed. But the horse is in one piece, and we live to fight another day.”
At Tuesday’s forfeit stage the field was reduced from 22 to 15 – although Aidan O’Brien is expected to supplement Derby winner Serpentine on Wednesday.
As well as Telecaster, also taken out were John Gosden’s Logician and the five Joseph O’Brien-trained entries – Buckhurst, Crossfirehurricane, Thames River, Degraves and New York Girl.
The market leaders all remain – including Enable, bidding for a historic third win in the great race, and Love.