Star American horse California Chrome is “highly likely” to miss Royal Ascot with a foot abscess.
The Art Sherman-trained colt’s participation in Wednesday’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes is now a major doubt because of the injury.
He will be assessed on Tuesday morning.
The four-year-old narrowly missed out on a 2014 US Triple Crown,winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes before finishing a close fourth in the Belmont Stakes.
He has been lodging at the Newmarket base of trainer Rae Guest, who said: “We don’t know how he did it. It is a shame for everyone involved as he had been working really well.”
California Chrome work rider Robbie Mills added: “He’s popped a small abscess in a foot this morning – we’ll assess it tomorrow morning but it’s highly unlikely he’ll run at Royal Ascot.”
“If as expected California Chrome doesn’t line up at Royal Ascot on Wednesday, it’ll be a blow for the famous fixture.
“With his brilliant race-record in America and romantic back story – cheaply bred by two ‘regular guys’, trained by a small-time veteran and the winner of nearly £4m to date – he would have been one of the biggest draws.
“It’s a huge disappointment after all the efforts to get here, but the problem is relatively routine and shouldn’t affect him long-term, just at Ascot.”