Desert Crown Ebor Disappointment

York Ebor Festival runs from Wednesday to Saturday

Paddington is now 4-7 favourite for Wednesday’s Juddmonte International after news broke on Sunday that 2022 Derby hero Desert Crown would miss York after suffering a new injury that saw the horse quickly transferred to equine hospital.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, last year’s Derby hero has been seen just once since his Epsom triumph, when meeting with his first career defeat at the hands of Hukum in Sandown’s Brigadier Gerard Stakes.

He subsequently missed the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot through a setback, while a leg infection ruled him out of a rematch with Hukum in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes last month.

A showdown on the Knavesmire with Aidan O’Brien’s Paddington and Royal Ascot scorer Mostahdaf was inked in for the son of Nathaniel, but his career is now on hold having reportedly pulled up lame during morning exercise on Sunday.

Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Saeed Suhail, told the Racing Post: “He’s got quite a bad injury and I’m just heading to the equine hospital now. He won’t be running at York.”

With news of Desert Crown’s absence, bookmakers Coral have cut Paddington to 4-7 from 4-6 for the feature of the opening day of York’s Ebor Festival.

“Following the disappointing news that Desert Crown will not be in Wednesday’s Juddmonte International line-up, Paddington is now an even firmer favourite for the York showpiece, with Mostahdaf his closest market rival for what is sure to be a small but select field,” said Coral’s David Stevens.

The Yorkshire 2023 Ebor Festival is a four-day meeting from Wednesday 23rd August to Saturday 26th August.

The festival is named after the Ebor Handicap, Europe’s richest handicap flat race and the highlight of the final day.

There is plenty of Group race action including the Juddmonte International, the Darley Yorkshire Oaks and the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes.

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