Desert Crown’s racing career is in the balance after he suffered an injury in his final preparations for the Juddmonte International.
The talented but fragile colt was being prepared for a showdown with the outstanding three-year-old Paddington and brilliant Royal Ascot winner Mostahdaf in what promised to be one of the best races of the Flat season.
Mail Sport watched Desert Crown work on Friday morning, when he exuberantly galloped twice up Warren Hill, and he looked to be in fine shape for what was to be just his second start since his thrilling win at Epsom in June 2022 (right), when he gave Sir Michael Stoute his sixth Derby triumph.
But he pulled up lame yesterday during a routine breeze and there are now questions over whether he will be seen on the track again after Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Saeed Suhail, said: ‘He’s got quite a bad injury. I’m going to see him in hospital. He won’t be running at York.’
Desert Crown will not race at the Juddmonte International after suffering an injury in final preparations
Desert Crown pulled up lame yesterday during a routine breeze and there are now questions over whether he will be seen on the track again
There was a surprise in the Group One Prix Morny, meanwhile, as Simon and Ed Crisford’s Vandeek got the better of hot favourite Ramatuelle and Aidan O’Brien’s River Tiber.
It was particularly special for jockey Andrea Atzeni, who is moving to Hong Kong next month to pursue new opportunities. Simon Crisford said: ‘His temperament is very good — he’s bombproof, very laid-back.
‘I think he’ll stay further as time goes on but he’s a work in progress.’