Trainer Chris Waller has revealed that Zoustar has been withdrawn from the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting and will be retired to stand at stud after straining a lateral proximal suspensory ligament.
Zoustar arrived in the United Kingdom at the start of the month and had reportedly settled in well in his new environment, but according to Waller was found to be suffering from discomfort after completing a serious piece of work earlier this weekend.
Scans conducted overnight found that Zoustar has suffered a strain to the lateral aspect pf his proximal suspensory ligament and would require to undergo a three month rehab program; ruling him out of both the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee (1207m) at Royal Ascot and the Group 1 July Cup (1207m) at Newmarket.
Waller released a statement expressing his disappointed at not being able to showcase Zoustar to the world at Royal Ascot and said that he believes the son of Northern Meteor would have proven very difficult to beat in the Group 1 event.
“The vet prognosis is for a return to racing in 3 months’ time,” Waller said.
“It is extremely disappointing that we are not able to compete at Ascot and the owners and I are devastated by this.
“The horse had travelled extremely well to England and for me personally it was the start of what would have been the experience of a lifetime.
“To have a horse the caliber of Zoustar to not only race in England, but at the prestigious Ascot Carnival would have clearly been a highlight for me.
“Everyone has been so supportive and obliging in getting Zoustar to not only represent me but Australia on the world stage.
“To be informed of the news that Zoustar will not be able to run has been simply shattering as I was confident we had the right horse to do Australia proud.”
Zoustar made his racing debut with a comfortable win at Canterbury in April last year and stamped himself as a horse to watch by winning the Group 2 BRC Sires Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on May 25 before finishing second in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm a fortnight later.
The talented colt started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with an unlucky fourth in the Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 31 before becoming an exciting stallion prospect with a strong win in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m).
Zoustar recorded a dominant victory in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 5 and, after being sold to Widden Stud in the lead-up to the race, took out the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 2.
The Waller-trained colt had only one start during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival when he failed to fire in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on March 15 and he was scratched from the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on April 12.
Zoustar will stand at Widden Stud during the 2014 Southern Hemisphere breeding season at a service fee of $44,000.