Harbinger's career in doubt

The remainder of the elite middle-distance season will be enacted in the shadow of what might have been. Yesterday morning came the news that Harbinger, who 15 days ago staked his claim to become one of the all-time greats with his 11-length tour de force in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, suffered a leg injury that is likely to end his career.

The four-year-old, trained by Sir Michael Stoute for Highclere Racing, fractured his near foreleg during a seven-furlong workout on the Limekilns gallops near his Newmarket stable. The colt underwent surgery during the afternoon to repair the damage to the lower end of the cannon bone above the ankle. "The burning question is whether he'll race again," said the Highclere director John Warren. "And I have to say it's a long shot."

The injury, a hair-line condylar fracture, is neither life-threatening nor uncommon and should not jeopardise any future stud career, though the retirement of such an iconic athlete is a blow for not only his connections but also the racing public. "The leg will require two screws," added Warren. "The horse is as comfortable as he can be."

The son of Dansili had won all four of his starts this year and was rated the best horse in the world after his performance at Ascot. He was scheduled to put his new-found status to the test next week in the Juddmonte International, en route to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in October.

He had been a warm favourite for both; his place at the head of the betting for the York contest has been taken by Rip Van Winkle, and for the Longchamp showpiece by another trained by Aidan O'Brien, Fame And Glory, who starts his countdown to the autumn in the Royal Whip at the Curragh this afternoon.

Another massive, if younger, reputation comes under scrutiny this afternoon at the Co Kildare track, when Strong Suit, judged by Richard Hannon as the best of his gifted two-year-olds, challenges for the first top-level juvenile prize of the season, the Phoenix Stakes. The unbeaten Coventry Stakes winner's task is marginally eased by the defection of one of the best- regarded of the home side, Dunboyne Express, and the Godolphin contender Al Aasifh, but he must still overcome a Ballydoyle quartet headed by Zoffany. O'Brien has captured 12 of the past 14 runnings of the six-furlong contest, sending out the runner-up in the other two.

Yesterday's two-year-old feature at Newmarket, the Sweet Solera Stakes, has not a bad record either in spotlighting talent. Recent winners include Soviet Song and Rainbow View, and last year in fourth place was this season's dual Oaks heroine, Snow Fairy.

This time Godolphin's Dynaformer filly White Moonstone took the step up to Group Two class in her elegant stride, staying on well under Frankie Dettori to beat the more experienced Crying Lightening just over a length.

For the second time in four days Mark Johnston saddled the first three home in a handicap and, even more remarkably, both clean sweeps were led by the same horse, Yorgunnabelucky. The first time was at Hamilton, yesterday's at Ascot on Shergar Cup day, when the novelty international jockeys' event went to the Irish team of Richard Hughes, Fran Berry and Pat Smullen.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games