Bernabeu, one of the most impressive winners during last year’s Melbourne Cup carnival, is fighting for his life.
The three-year-old broke down during a special gallop on the Randwick dirt track on Tuesday morning.
He fractured both sesamoid bones in his off foreleg and was taken to Randwick Equine Hospital.
Trainer John O’Shea and vets were using the gallop to find out if Bernabeu had developed a throat issue, resulting in a loss of form.
The gelding finished down the track in the Lightning Stakes and the Newmarket Handicap in two recent Melbourne starts.
Both failures were in stark contrast to a runaway win against his own age over 1000m at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day.
Bernabeu is raced by Australian Turf Club chairman Michael Crismale.