Johnston star Universal injured
Mark Johnston has revealed the progressive Universal suffered an injury in Middleham on Sunday morning.
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The son of Dubawi numbers the Group Two Jockey Club Stakes and Princess Of Wales's Stakes among his four victories this season and was being prepared for a tilt at the Irish St Leger.
However writing in the 'Bletherings' section of his website, www.markjohnstonracing.com the trainer revealed: "Universal, the highest rated horse in our yard, fractured his pastern on the gallops this morning.
"As I write this, he is travelling to Newmarket Equine Hospital where, surgeon, Ian Wright will operate. I am in Lexington, Kentucky, for the forthcoming Keeneland yearling sales and so is, owner, Abdullah al Mansoori. I have just spoken to him on the phone and, as he so aptly put it, we are both numbed.
"Our dreams of Group 1 glory for his admirably progressive horse are shattered. It was our intention that Universal would run in the Irish St. Leger next weekend, followed by the Canadian International and the Japan Cup. With such a tough horse, it never entered our heads that injury could stop him.
"Hearing of such an accident in the early hours of the morning, here in Lexington, brings back memories of Fruits of Love who fractured his pelvis on the eve of the first Keeneland sale I ever attended. I can only dream that Universal's accident will have such a happy outcome and that he might race successfully again."
Universal was last seen finishing fifth behind Novellist in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in July.