Killultagh Vic has been ruled out of Cheltenham and is set to miss the rest of the season after suffering an injury setback.
The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old had been a short-priced favourite for the JLT Novices’ Chase next month.
Conqueror of World Hurdle hotpot Thistlecrack at Punchestown in April, he has won both his starts since switching to fences, most recently benefiting from a remarkable Ruby Walsh recovery after a bad blunder to claim a Grade Two contest at Leopardstown last month.
But a suspensory problem means Festival hopes have been dashed, and Mullins said: “He is unlikely to run again this season.”
Killultagh Vic would have been bidding for a second consecutive Cheltenham victory, having won the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle last year in the hands of Luke Dempsey.