Royal Ascot hero Pique Sous has been ruled out of next week's Galway Hurdle and for the rest of the season, according to his owners, Supreme Horse Racing.
The Willie Mullins-trained grey claimed the Queen Alexandra Stakes last month and was a hot favourite to make a winning return over jumps at the Ballybrit circuit next week before a likely tilt at the Ebor at York.
However, all plans are now on hold for the talented dual-purpose performer.
Supreme Horse Racing posted on their Twitter feed: "Bad news, Pique Sous is out for the season. We are gutted as was in fantastic health.
"He will come back next season."
Elaborating on the injury, Supreme's racing manager Steve Massey said: "He was lame this morning, they've had him scanned and they couldn't find anything, so they think he's suffered a stress fracture.
"It's quite a common injury, but unfortunately it means he's going to need six weeks box rest and that will rule him out for the rest of the season.
"It's devastating news with the Galway Hurdle less than a week away and we thought he'd have a cracking chance in the Ebor next month as well.
"I'm gutted for all his owners who were getting excited and had made plans, but that's the ups and downs of racing.
"We've had a great run of things of late and we had a great day at Royal Ascot with Pique Sous that nobody can take away from us.
"We nearly lost him last year when he suffered colic and the great news is this is not life-threatening.
"All being well, he should be back as good as new next season.
"He's still a relatively young horse with very low mileage on the clock."