Emerging Bruce Watkins-trained four-year-old Fred Dag is out of the Ascot carnival.

The Bunbury trainer said scans revealed Fred Dag to have suffered a sesamoid injury.

It’s a major blow for Watkins who had been considering a shot at the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) with Fred Dag.

Rated by Watkins as the best horse in his stable, Fred Dag illustrated his promise when runner up to Regal Power in the Listed Lex Piper Stakes (1600m) last year.

Fred Dag posted back-to-back wins over 1400m and 1600m respectively at Belmont in July.

Watkins said he hoped Fred Dag could return to racing in 2020.

“We gave him a few weeks off and he came back with a slight injury and hopefully it won’t be long term,” Watkins told The Races WA.

“We’ll treat him with kid gloves and hopefully get him back for early next year or something like that.

“We won’t be taking any risks, it’s no good trying to rush things

“You never know with these injuries but from what the vets are saying if we give him the right treatment hopefully he can come back bigger and better.

“I’ve learnt over the years not too get stressed over these things, but it is disappointing.”