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Racing correspondent Peter Bromley
"King's Best had been dragging its rear leg"
 real 28k

The BBC's Cornelius Lysaght
previews the Derby
 real 28k

Friday, 9 June, 2000, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Derby favourite pulls out
King's Best pulled up at Newmarket on Thursday
King's Best pulled up at Newmarket on Thursday
Derby favourite King's Best has been withdrawn from participation at Epsom, after pulling up lame at a training gallop at Newmarket.

The Sagitta 2000 Guineas winner was one of 16 horses declared for the premier Classic on Thursday.



An examination showed King's Best to be dragging his left hind toe when trotting

Trainer Sir Michael Stoute
However, the three-year-old's trainer Sir Michael Stoute announced in a statement on Friday: "King's Best is a non-runner and there has been no improvement in his condition.

"I am very sorry for his owner, the team at home and those that have backed him."

The colt is believed to have suffered a recurrence of a slight muscle injury, which left him dragging his left-hind toe when trotting after exercise on Thursday.

King's Best has been replaced as favourite in the betting stakes by Beat Hollow at 5-2.

There were no surprise omissions when final declarations for the blue riband were revealed, with Ciro, Hataab, Media Puzzle and Shakespeare the only absentees.

Ciro and Shakespeare's defections leave Aristotle as Aidan O'Brien's only representative.

Godolphin have four contenders, Best Of The Bests, Broche, Hatha Anna and Inchlonaig.

Four-time Derby winning trainer Henry Cecil will be represented by Beat Hollow and Wellbeing.

The former now heads some bookmakers' lists for the Derby and jockey John Reid believes the colt, winner of the Green Ridge Newmarket Stakes last month, could be "unbeatable if he stays the trip".

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