STRADIVARIUS has been forced OUT of his emotional York farewell after picking up an injury – leaving punters devastated.
York racecourse had asked fans going to the track on Friday to dress in the horse's famous black and yellow silks.
But the star of the show will miss the Lonsdale Cup – for which he was big favourite – after he was found to have a bruised foot.
This is the first time ever the eight-year-old has missed a race through injury.
Frankie Dettori, who has ridden Strad on all six of his wins at York, had been replaced in the saddle by Andrea Atzeni.
Trainer John Gosden said: "We did a routine check at 5am and found he had heat in his foot. We didn't mess about and spoke to the owner and took him out sharpish before the box left at 5.30.
"It's unfortunate but he's never missed a dance in his life."
One heartbroken fan said: "Such a shame. He would've ran a cracker too."
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Another said: "Absolutely gutted."
One post read: "Stradivarius is out – this is the news I didn't want today!"
While one commented: "Huge shame to wake up and see the news on Stradivarius not running today now, it could mean I won't get to see him on track ever again."
Stradivarius' omission raises huge questions about whether old foe Trueshan will now run.
The going at York is officially good, good to firm in places and the track had no rain overnight.
Alan King has previously pulled his star stayer on comparable ground because he loves it when it is soft.
Should King pull Trueshan then the Group 2 worth £140,000 to the winner will be down to just six runners.
And in that event Ascot Stakes winner Coltrane would be vaulted into heavy favouritism from a previous price of 6-2.
He was slashed down to 7-2 after Stradviarius was scratched, with Trueshan the 10-11 fav at the time of writing.
Quickthorn 8-1, Tashkan 17-2, Reshoun 25-1, Mostly Cloudy 28-1 and Nate The Great 33-1 complete the weakened line-up.
Stradivarius is still entered in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot Champions Day on October 15.
He's currently a best-price 13-2 for that money-spinning contest but his place in the field depends on his recovery from injury.
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