Blue Diamond Stakes placegetter Free Of Debt will miss the major spring races after suffering a ligament injury in the build-up to his race return.
The Chris Bieg-trained colt won his first two starts impressively at Morphettville and Flemington before finishing a game third in the Group One Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield in March.
The colt was spelled after finishing last in the Golden Slipper and was building towards a new season return when the injury happened.
Free Of Debt had a barrier trial at Murray Bridge a couple of weeks ago but Bieg said the rising three-year-old had sustained a minor ligament injury in a hind leg which would keep him out for at least a few months.
The injury was detected after Bieg sent the colt for tests.
“It was the very, very early stage of a minor little tear in a ligament, basically in his hock,” Bieg said.
“Definitely a Caulfield Guineas is out of the question, unfortunately.
“That’s not to say he won’t be back for the very, very later part of spring. That could be an option but that will just all depend on how he responds to a little bit of treatment he is going to have.”
Bieg said his stable star would have box rest before going up to Aquis Farm at the Gold Coast for rehabilitation.
“We’ll just see where he’s at after probably two months. We’ll re-assess him and from that make a determination if he requires another month or in fact another couple of months, or what it is.
“It’s a very, very mild injury and it’s been detected very early.”
Aquis bought into the colt before the Blue Diamond.
Bieg said his gut feeling was they would wait and concentrate on the autumn carnival with the talented colt.
“It’s disappointing but he will bounce back,” Bieg said.
“I’m very, very confident we got it early enough and he will be fine.”