As expected, Sunday's Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe will not feature last year's winner Danedream, but there was another twist as Nathaniel was also ruled out Tuesday. Just hours after Germany's defending champion was scratched at the six-day forfeit stage due to the three-month quarantine of all horses based at the racecourse hit by a case of EIA in Cologne, dual Group 1 winner Nathaniel also went by the wayside after he was found to have a temperature.
"Nathaniel spiked a temperature this morning. Blood tests were taken immediately and his blood was found to not be right," trainer John Gosden told the Racing Post. "In light of the results, he is a non-runner in the Arc."
Nathaniel's pending withdrawal means that only 17 of the 18 remaining possibles at Tuesday's forfeit stage can go forward to the Longchamp feature, with Orfevre set to dispute favoritism with Camelot.
There was little surprise at the scratchings at Tuesday's stage, with the setback-hit pair of No Risk at All and Snow Fairy excluded, while the only fence-sitter Sea Moon now appears to be Paris-bound, with Ryan Moore set to make his reappearance from a sidelining injury in time.
No final decision on participation or jockey bookings has been made for the Group 1 Two Thousand Guineas and Group 1 Derby hero Camelot, with Joseph O'Brien unable to do the weight and instead expected to partner his Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf-winning stalwart St Nicholas Abbey. Aidan O'Brien left a customary numerically strong presence in the race, with the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris winner Imperial Monarch still engaged among the Ballydoyle quintet.
Andre Fabre, who has won the race a record seven times, has Meandre and Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville scorer Masterstroke to go to war with this time, while Alain de Royer-Dupre is also double-handed with Reliable Man and Shareta. Group 1 Prix du Jockey-Club hero Saonois is expected to be supplemented on Thursday.