Excelebration ruled out of HK Mile
The highest-rated horse ever invited for the Cathay Pacific Mile, Excelebration, has been ruled out of next month's Sha Tin showpiece.
The runner-up to champion three-year-old Frankel at Ascot on Champions Day in October will not make the trip after scoping 'dirty' following a trackwork session.
Excelebration was purchased by Coolmore in August and will leave the stables of Marco Botti to join Aidan O'Brien's yard for his future racing.
On a rating of 126, the three-year-old was the second-ranked miler in Europe and looked the likely favourite for the Hong Kong Mile and the strongest rival to local runners in a race that Hong Kong has won for the past five years.
'It's been an incredible year with Excelebration and I would like to thank my staff for all their excellent work with the colt,' trainer Marco Botti told the UK Racing Post. 'We have had some wonderful days with him - especially in Paris - and it's a pity that a routine scope has ended his chances of winning the Group 1 in Hong Kong.'
Excelebration is not the only early casualty from the invited runners for December 11; Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner Regally Ready has also been reported as unlikely to make the trip.