Lone Eagle's career is in doubt after his trainer Martyn Meade revealed the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (G1) runner-up suffered a serious leg injury in defeat in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes (G1) at Ascot last month.
The son of the late Galileo, who finished a neck behind Hurricane Lane in the Irish Derby at the Curragh and won the British Stallion Studs E.B.F. Cocked Hat Stakes earlier in the season, was well fancied for the summer showpiece but finished last of the five runners behind Adayar.
Meade had been hoping to aim his stable star for a rematch against his Irish Derby conqueror in the Cazoo St. Leger (G1) at Doncaster next month, but it has emerged Lone Eagle suffered a fractured fetlock in the King George and will miss the rest of the season, and it may even end his racing career.
"He's definitely out for the season," Meade said. "We'll have to see how he progresses from there as to whether he'll be able to run next season. It could be that his career is in doubt. It's disappointing. I did think he'd run better than he did in the King George but at least we now know the reason why he didn't. I wanted to target him at the St. Leger for his final race of the season, but I'm afraid that's not going to be."
Meade stressed he is keen to give the colt owned by Ballylinch Stud and Aquis Farm time to recover before any retirement talks.
"It's a serious injury I'm afraid and with these types of injuries you never know the full extent until you give them a bit of time," Meade said. "It certainly remains to be seen whether we'll be able to get him back for next term. We have to see how that repairs over the next period of time and we'll be keeping a close eye on it, but for now he needs to be resting and recuperating. It's all about how well that goes."