The Joseph O'Brien-trained Valiant King (GB) (Roaring Lion) will not take part in the G1 Melbourne Cup on Nov. 7, and has instead been sent for a spell after suffering a setback, co-owner Ozzie Kheir confirmed on Friday.
The grey was most recently sixth in the G1 Caulfield Cup and was found to be lame in his left front leg earlier this week after a Racing Victoria vet inspection.
”After this morning's RV inspections where Valiant King was found to be mildly lame post his work, we had our own vets this evening come back and inspect him and agree with RV's assessment as he remained slightly lame in the front left fore,” Kheir told Racing.com.
”He was due to be inspected tomorrow morning by RV, but regardless of the outcome, we have decided that we will withdraw him from the Melbourne Cup now to allow other connections on the cusp of getting into the race to make plans.
”Unfortunately for the ownership group, Joseph O'Brien and his travelling team its obviously very disappointing to get so close and stumble at this last hurdle.”
A maiden winner at Navan in May, the 3-year-old was also second in the G3 Ballyroan S. this August.
Kheir added, 'We have always said we believe he will be a talented horse in the future and by looking after him now, we will get the rewards in the autumn and sprint next year.
”We hope to target the [G1] Australian Cup back at Flemington provided he acclimatizes well in the capable hands of Chris Waller.
”RV communication and handling of the matter has been very professional and supportive.”