Hot favourite St Mark's Basilica ruled OUT of Juddmonte International at York – with Love taking his place
THE complexion of Wednesday's Juddmonte International at York has changed completely after hot favourite St Mark's Basilica was ruled out.
The top-class three-year-old was the general 8-11 jolly for the £1 million Group 1 after his brilliant win in the Coral-Eclipse last month.
But trainer Aidan O'Brien revealed on Monday morning that the colt had picked up an injury on the gallops at home.
His front shoe flew off while he was exercising and it caught his hind leg, leaving a gash.
Vets at Ballydoyle performed tests on his injured leg and the wound was showing early signs of infection, so the horse will undergo treatment and head for next month's Irish Champion Stakes instead.
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That means O'Brien has had to call on Prince Of Wales's Stakes heroine Love as his big-race replacement.
She was a beaten favourite in the King George at Ascot last time out and will look to get her season back on track on the opening day of the Ebor Festival.
O'Brien told the Racing Post: "St Mark's Basilica was doing his canter yesterday morning, he lost his front shoe and it caught the front of his near fore hind joint, his fetlock joint.
"We did bloods there this morning to check that it hadn't got infected or anything, and when the bloods came up it showed that it had got infected.
"We did that at 6.30am this morning and the infection is there, so it doesn't give us any choice.
"He will now go on antibiotics and the Irish Champion Stakes would be the obvious target for him now.
"We are going to declare Love for York. She was supposed to go for the Prix Jean Romanet on Sunday at Deauville, so she will go for the Juddmonte now instead."
There will be seven runners in the Juddmonte International on Wednesday, with Love's rivals headed by Mishriff, Mohaafeth and Alcohol Free.
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