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The racing career of dual Derby winner Hitotsu hangs in the balance following an injury that will see him miss this year’s Spring Carnival.

Ciaron Maher Racing on Monday released a statement announcing that the colt has suffered an injury to his near foreleg.

The statement suggested that the extent of the injury had not immediately ruled out a return to the track, but a decision would be made in consultation with the ownership group.

“The stable regretfully announces that Hitotsu has sustained to his suspensory branch in his near foreleg,” the statement read.

“We are currently in discissions with the ownership group regarding his racing future.

“It’s a devastating blow for his owners, the stable and his legion of fans that will see him miss this year’s spring carnival.

“He is a talented, tough horse who we believe we have not seen the best of yet and are hopeful for a speedy recovery.

“Successful rehabilitation would see him return to racing in the autumn of 2023, if it’s decided he will race on.”

Hitotsu, who Maher trains in partnership with David Eustace, last month became the first horse since Mahogany to complete the Victoria Derby/ATC Derby double when he won the latter at Randwick.

His only start between those two events resulted in a first-up win in the Group 1 Australian Guineas at Flemington in March.

Hitotsu, a son of Maurice who started his career with Wendy Kelly before joining the Maher/Eustace stable ahead of his three-year-old season, has won four of eight starts and $3,179,250 in stakes.

Prior to the news breaking Hitotsu was the favourite for the 2022 Melbourne Cup.

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