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One of Melbourne’s best two-year-olds will miss the spring after being diagnosed with an unusual injury.

The Mick Price-trained Flying Artie, runner-up in the Blue Diamond Stakes before finishing third in the Golden Slipper in March, missed a start in the Sires’ Produce Stakes at Randwick during The Championships because of a sesamoid problem.

“He’s been a very sound horse, bar one day. He had a pulse in the medial sesamoid near front,” Price said.

“We’ve since found some old degeneration in between the sesamoid and the cannon bone.

“It’s an unusual injury and I think it might have been sitting there for a while and the Slipper stirred it up.

“The advice is he needs to spell long enough and that rules out the spring.”

Price said he hoped to have Flying Artie, who had been the early favourite for the Caulfield Guineas, back for a three-year-old campaign next autumn.

He said the problem may have been brewing for some time and could have been the reason why Flying Artie didn’t finish the Golden Slipper off as Price expected.

“I couldn’t work it out on the day because he’s a better horse than that,” Price said.

“I think he was looking after himself on the day because he was feeling his joint.”

Flying Artie’s stablemate Lankan Rupee is not expected to make a return to racing until the latter part of the spring.

The 2013/14 Horse of the Year, Lankee Rupee hasn’t raced since finishing third in the Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield last October.

He was diagnosed with bone bruising and is still having some issues with a hock on a hind leg.

“He looks great and is doing rehab,” Price said.

“He’s walking. He’s on the water walker. He’s doing what he should be doing.

“His front legs are perfect but he’s got one issue behind in a hock.”

Price said Lankan Rupee would undergo further scans to see how the injury is healing before any thoughts are given to bringing him back into work.

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