Charlie Fellowes’ highly-progressive gelding Escalator is out for at least a year after sustaining a leg injury in Dubai as part of his preparation for the Group Two Zabeel Mile at Meydan next week.
The four-year-old son of Cape Cross had come through a normal a piece of work with flying colours on Thursday morning, only for the problem to emerge later.
He had earned a big chance in Pattern company by defying top weight in a 16-runner handicap over a mile two weeks earlier.
“It’s devastating,” said Fellowes.
“It was just a routine piece of work on Thursday on the turf track over in Meydan. He was fine and he worked beautifully.
“The girl, who is out there looking after him, came in this morning and said there was a little heat in a leg. We got the vet in, and sadly it’s bad enough to rule him out for a year at least.
“He’ll be on box rest for the moment, and we’ll get him back to England at the beginning of March and just take our time with him. It’s an injury that the longer you can give them the better.
“I hope he can come back from it, but we will see – the longer the better.”
The setback is a huge blow for Fellowes’ yard, and it brought them down to earth just hours after Mia Tesoro had done the Newmarket stable proud by finishing second to Poetic Charm in the Group Two Balanchine.
“That’s horse racing,” he said.
“We were meant to be in this morning celebrating Mia Tesoro finishing second in a Group Two.
“It was a remarkable run, and everyone is flat as a pancake now that poor old Escalator is going to be out for a year.
“He was one of the most progressive horses in training over the last six months. I don’t think there’s a horse that has gone up from 75 to 110 like he has. To lose him is a massive blow to our yard before the season has even started.”