John Moore-trained Ruthven will be forced to miss the HK$24 million Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup on April 29 because of regulations governing official veterinary examinations.

After running below expectations in the Class Two staying event at Sha Tin on Sunday, an endoscopic inspection initially showed mucus in Ruthven’s trachea.

However, soon afterwards, the stewards reported “a substantial amount of blood” and imposed the standard requirement of an official veterinary examination (OVE) before Ruthven could run again.

Moore was not concerned about Ruthven being able to pass an OVE and said he would press on to the Group One QE II Cup, but the rules governing the OVE will prevent that happening.

“Substantial blood means a reading of three or more out of five and there is an embargo on the horse being allowed to undergo his OVE within two weeks,” Moore said. “Two weeks is QE II Cup day itself, so that cannot happen.

“Immediately after the race, the ‘scope showed some mucus there but what happens is the horse then goes across for what we call a ‘wash’ where they take a culture so we can examine that more closely and see whether the horse has an infection. But during the half an hour or so between the first ‘scope and the wash, the blood emerged there.”

Moore said his next target for Ruthven, who finished fourth in the BMW Hong Kong Derby, would now be a week after the QE II in the Queen Mother Memorial Cup (2,400m) on May 6 as a lead-up to the Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup later in the month.

Ruthven’s withdrawal will leave the QE II Cup with 10 invited runners, with Pakistan Star still to pass a barrier trial test on Friday before he is confirmed to run and there is still the hurdle to jump of getting overseas-based invitees here for the race.