Ferny Hollow out of the Cheltenham Festival due to injury

Ferny Hollow out of the Cheltenham Festival due to injury

Arkle favourite Ferny Hollow will miss the Cheltenham Festival after a minor suspensory ligament issue, according to owners Cheveley Park Stud.

The seven-year-old was at the head of the market for the two-mile novice Grade One at Prestbury Park after victory in the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.

He is also unbeaten over obstacles, having defeated the likes of Appreciate It and Bob Olinger over hurdles before winning both of his chase starts to date.

Cheveley Park Stud’s Chris Richardson confirmed this afternoon that the horse has picked up a “minor ligament suspensory issue”, meaning he will be unable to take up his entry in the Arkle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

Ferny Hollow is led back into the winner's enclosure after victory in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham
Image: Ferny Hollow is led back into the winner’s enclosure after victory in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham

Stablemate Blue Lord has now replaced Ferny Hollow at the top of the Arkle market for Willie Mullins, at a general 11/4 shot.

Trainer Mullins said: “He came home very sore from Leopardstown and we were just hoping he might have got away with it. He did his first canter during the week and, unfortunately, he’s sore again after it.

“We’ve decided to pull up stumps for the whole season, rather than trying to get him back for Punchestown. It’s very disappointing, but at least he has his Grade 1 win this year and we have a lot to look forward to with him in the future.”

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