Leading stayer Kyprios has met with a setback which could prevent him from defending his Gold Cup crown at Royal Ascot.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Kyprios enjoyed the perfect season last year, winning all six of his races.
He progressed from scoring in the Vintage Crop and Saval Beg Stakes before going on to glory in the Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup, Irish St Leger and an amazing 20-length success in the Prix du Cadran, despite veering badly in the closing stages.
However, on a weekend when O’Brien saw another of his inmates, Broome, emerge as a Cup horse with a victory in Dubai, he revealed that the main player in the division could miss the first half of the campaign.
Watch: Aidan O'Brien shares an update on some of his stable stars
“With Kyprios we won’t rush him, we’ll take our time with him and see where we go. We’re looking at the autumn with him,” O’Brien told Racing TV.
“He got a little bit of a joint about a month ago and we just need that to settle down. If it does we’ll go on for Ascot and if it doesn’t we’ll have him for the autumn.
“Obviously there’s a lot of water to go under the bridge between now and then and we’ll play it by ear and slot them all in somewhere.”
Broome will take a direct route to the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, with trainer Aidan O’Brien setting his sights on a trip to Australia for the Melbourne Cup at the end of the year.
The seven-year-old has shown his best over middle distances over the last four seasons, with a previous foray over two miles ending in a distant last to Trueshan in the 2020 Long Distance Cup at Ascot.
However, Broome roared back to winning form over the staying trip on Saturday, seeing off Siskany by a neck in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan – his first victory since last year’s Hardwicke Stakes.
That run has put him on course for a clash with stablemate and reigning staying champion Kyprios at Ascot in June, with O’Brien believing he is an ideal candidate to head in Flemington in November.
He said: “We were very happy. Obviously he’s going to go the Cup route and we’ll look at all those races on the way down to the Melbourne Cup. That’s probably what we’re going to do with him.
“He won’t have to run in the two Irish trials, he can go straight to Ascot. After that he can do Goodwood and all those types of races and then finish off down in Australia.
“He’s seven now and he’s the perfect age to be doing all those races, travelling as an older horse.
“He’s an amazing horse, he was very genuine at Meydan. Looking at him, you’d say we should have stepped him up in trip a lot earlier.”
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