Ulysses misses Turf after leg issue emerges
Ulysses missed out on a chance to sign off his racing career with a Breeders' Cup victory after he was ruled out of the Turf with a minor setback.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt, who is set to stand at Cheveley Park Stud, had heat in one of his forelegs, according to the Breeders' Cup on-call veterinarian Dr Scott Palmer.
He said on Saturday: "The concern was that Ulysses has a small amount of inflammation in his left-front fetlock and upon examination and consultation with the connections they felt it was in the best interests of the horse not to run him.
"I don't think it's a life-threatening situation whatsoever – it's a bit of a concern and they wanted to do the right thing by the horse and protect him going forward, so they decided to withdraw him from competition.
"Ordinarily with something like this it's possible there could have been something a little bit earlier, but you like to give the horse the benefit of the doubt and small matters can come and go and resolve themselves."
Palmer added: "I'm not aware of any prior concerns [earlier in the week] but it wouldn't surprise me.
"In a big event like this one always wants to give the horse the best opportunity to be okay and give connections a completely fair shake, as we're talking about a very important race here."
'We're all very sorry'
Ulysses had not looked entirely happy in spells during his training at Del Mar, where he was set to start one of the market leaders for the Turf, in which a major showdown with defending champion Highland Reel was anticipated.
However, Alan Cooper, racing manager to owners the Niarchos family, told bloodhorse.com connections had been pleased with his work before the late call to scratch him.
"He had a very nice workout yesterday morning," Cooper said, speaking on Friday evening. "The decision tonight was in the best interest of the horse.
"We're all very sorry, especially for the fans, but it was in the best interest of the horse."
Ulysses was fourth in the Turf last season, but has gone from strength to strength through 2017 in a campaign highlighted by victories in the Coral-Eclipse and Juddmonte International.
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