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Universal Dream Over For Johnston Star
The career of highly promising UK galloper Universal (Dubawi-Winesong, by Giant's Causeway) is in the balance after he suffered a fractured pastern on the gallops on Sunday morning, reports racingpost.com.au. The Mark Johnston-trained 4YO entire has been one of the most progressive horses in England this season, successfully graduating from handicap to stakes company with victories in the Gr2 Hardwicke Stakes, Gr2 Jockey Club Stakes & Gr3 John Porter Stakes. Universal's most recent outing was in the Gr1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in late July, where the son of Dubawi was far from disgraced in finishing 5th to the brilliant Novellist. Connections had planned a high-profile overseas campaign for the autumn and winter, beginning next Sunday with the Irish St Leger. Writing on his website, Johnston said that both he and owner Abdullah al Mansoori were "numbed" by the news. "Our dreams of Gr1 glory for this admirably progressive horse are shattered," Johnston wrote. "It was our intention that Universal would run in the Irish St Leger next weekend, followed by the Canadian International and the Japan Cup." Universal is the winner of 7 of his 19 starts for £256,525 earnings. He will undergo surgery at Newmarket Equine Hospital.