Exceptional trotter Speeding Spur could be away from the track for up to a year.
The connections of the Great Southern Star winner did not get the news they wanted yesterday when a scan showed damage to his off hind suspensory, possibly suffered in last Friday's Anzac Cup, in which he finished second to Monbet.
The rivalry between the pair was set to become one of the greats in modern harness racing history but now the injury leaves Monbet with the open class trotting ranks at his mercy.
Co-trainer Josh Dickie was naturally disappointed by the news but takes solace from the prognosis.
"It is not great news but at least with the strain being in the middle of the suspensory, rather than high, we have been told he should be fine long term," says Dickie.
"So we are hoping to have him back but we are thinking he may not race for 10 or even 12 months."
That means the three-time Derby winner from last season could miss almost all the group races between now and next season's Anzac and Rowe Cup meeting.
Among those races he misses will be the Jewels at Cambridge on June 4, with the major question now whether Monbet heads there or spells to get a bigger break for next season.