Aidan O'Brien has revealed last year's 2000 Guineas and dual Derby hero Camelot could be retired after failing to recapture his best form this season.
The son of Montjeu kicked off his Classic campaign with a last-gasp victory at Newmarket, before running out a hugely-impressive winner of the Epsom Derby under the trainer's son, Joseph.
Claiming the Irish Derby along the way, the stage was set for Camelot to become the first Triple Crown hero since Nijinsky in 1970 as he was given the green light for the St Leger at Doncaster, but he was narrowly denied on Town Moor by Godolphin's Encke.
A disappointing run in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe followed, after which he suffered a severe bout of colic, and although he was brought back for a much anticipated four-year-old campaign, he has looked a shadow of his former self.
Since turning in a workmanlike victory on his return, Camelot has been beaten by Al Kazeem in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and finished fourth behind the same opponent in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.
While a tilt at the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on July 6 will be considered, O'Brien is unsure whether to persevere with a horse who remains of significant value to his connections as a potential stallion.
O'Brien said: "He's a very important horse to us and he's not one we want to take any risks with.
"The last day at Royal Ascot, he obviously hadn't come back to his best and while the Eclipse is still an option, retirement is something we might have to consider as well.
"The spark was never there after his run in the Irish Derby last year. He had a tough race there on testing ground and then had that problem over the winter."