Plans to supplement Penitent into the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Saturday, for which 10 horses have stood their ground, have had to be shelved.
Following his fine second in the Prix de la Fort at Longchamp, his owners, Middleham Park Racing, had decided to fork out £70,000 to add him to the Qipco-sponsored Group One on Champions Day at Ascot.
But having worked at trainer David O'Meara's yard on Monday morning, he returned a dirty scope.
Nick Bradley, bloodstock manager for the syndicate, said: "We didn't have to pay the supplementary fee until midday so if he'd worked tomorrow we could have been made to look a bit stupid.
"I've got a meeting with some officials from Hong Kong this morning and it might be that he goes out to Sha Tin and goes out there next."
Aidan O'Brien's Excelebration, runner-up in last year's renewal, is likely to go off favourite with no Frankel to worry about.
O'Brien has also left in Declaration Of War and Requisition.
The Queen's Carlton House remains engaged, as does the Roger Charlton-trained Cityscape.
Side Glance, the German raider Indomito, the St James's Palace Stakes winner Most Improved and Sovereign Debt are others in the mix.
The John Gosden-trained Elusive Kate is the only filly in contention.