Dubai World Cup hero Mystic Guide out for season with knee injury

Horse Racing Max Player Mystic Guide
Sub-par Suburban: defeat of Mystic Guide (right) by Max Player led to injury diagnosis. Photo: NYRA/Elsa Lorieul (Coglianese)

By Jon Lees

USA: Godolphin’s Dubai World Cup winner Mystic Guide is to undergo surgery after being diagnosed with a knee injury in the wake of his defeat in the G2 Suburban Stakes earlier this month and will miss the remainder of the season.

The issue was discovered after the four-year-old underwent specialised imaging tests following his head defeat by Max Player on his return from a three-month layoff in the Belmont G2 prize, run on a sloppy track.

Announcing the news in a statement Godolphin said Mystic Guide would have surgery to remove a chip in his knee, with Dr Larry Bramlage of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, performing the procedure. Bramlage had indicated that the surgery would be “very straightforward and uncomplicated”.

Trainer Mike Stidham said: “Expectations for the Suburban were high, so with his runner-up finish, we felt that we should take some precautionary x-rays. We then followed those up with a PET [Positron emission tomography] scan which revealed the chip. It’s certainly unfortunate but I am glad that we know the extent of the injury and can move forward from here.”

Godolphin president Jimmy Bell said: “Mystic Guide is in great hands with Dr Bramlage so it now becomes a question of doing what’s right for the horse. It’s too early at this time to make a decision to either continue racing or retire him but we will give him some time to recuperate and we will then make that determination.”

Mystic Guide, who has won four of his nine starts, beat Chuwa Wizard by 3¾ lengths to land the Dubai World Cup in Meydan in March.

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