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Foxhunter Chase fancy Rival D’Estruval has suffered a back problem that will cause him to miss the rest of the season.
The nine-year-old, sporting the familiar green and yellow silks of Raymond and Anita Anderson Green, and trained by Pauline Robson at Kidlaw Farm in Newcastle, was being aimed at the Foxhunter Chase at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, having failed to land a gamble in the National Hunt Chase 12 months ago when falling two out while in contention.
He was pulled up when sent off as favourite for the Scottish Grand National on his next outing, and was then put out to grass for the summer.
The gelding reappeared in a graduation chase at Haydock last month but finished last of five after not showing any sparkle, and it subsequently transpired that the stable star had a serious back problem.
Robson’s partner and assistant David Parker said: “He is going to Newmarket later this week for an operation on his back, so he won’t be going to Cheltenham and he won’t run again this season.
“He’s had quite serious problems with a kissing spine, which is why he has lost his form, unfortunately.
“Hopefully it will be sorted out later this week and we’ll look forward to getting him back on track next season.”
It is now less than five weeks to the start of the Cheltenham Festival, so do check out the latest racing news and odds on Dafabet.