Aktabantay (right): a last-minute withdrawal in the Juvenile TurfPICTURE: Getty Images
Sore foot rules Palmer star out of Breeders' Cup
TRAINER Hugo Palmer was left distraught on Thursday night after his stable star Aktabantay was ruled out of the Breeders' Cup with a sore foot.
Aktabantay, who gave his trainer a first taste of Group success with victory in the Solario Stakes at Sandown, was being prepared for Friday’s Juvenile Turf.
One door shutting on a British hope led to another opening as Aktabantay’s defection means the Brian Meehan-trained Faithful Creek, the mount of Kieren Fallon, gets in the race.
A devastated Palmer told the Racing Post: "It's very disappointing. He has a sore hind foot and can't run, but he will be back in the spring.
"He caught the eye of all the workwatchers and people were really talking about him.
"The Breeders' Cup vets are very meticulous in checking all the health and welfare of the horses. When they checked him between 9-10am they weren't happy with him.
"It's a minor thing, it will be okay in the long running. We have to look at the positives. It's not career threatening and we have a lovely horse to go to war with next year - he just won't have run at the Breeders' Cup."
Aktabantay is rated a 33-1 chance for next year's Qipco 2,000 Guineas, a race Palmer is keen to target.
Meehan will be represented by Epsom maiden winner Faithful Creek, who was third behind the highly promising John F Kennedy in a Leopardstown Group 3 last time.
The trainer said: "We all feel deeply sorry for Hugo Palmer and his team, it is all very disappointing when something like this happens.
"We're obviously pleased to be getting a run but not in circumstances like this. Kieren Fallon, who will be on board tomorrow, got on the horse this morning and said that he gave him a really nice feel and we have the horse in really great shape."