Trainer Charles Byrnes is hopeful Solwhit has suffered only a minor injury after being forced to rule him out of this afternoon’s woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown.
The nine-year-old returned from a near two-year absence seemingly better than ever last season, taking a step up to three miles in his stride as he claimed the World Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree to take his Grade One tally to eight.
He was due to make his seasonal reappearance against four opponents later today, but is not sound this morning and Byrnes is not taking any chances with his stable star.
Byrnes said: “He wasn’t sound this morning so we had to withdraw him.
“It looks like it’s a problem with his fetlock, hopefully just a sprain. We’re hoping he’ll be sound in three or four days, but we’ll just have to wait and see how he is next week.
“If he’s not sound after three or four days, we’ll have to investigate things further, but it is nothing to do with his old injury.”
Byrnes will wait for Solwhit to return to full health before making future plans.
“It’s going to be tough to get a prep race into him between now and the World Hurdle at Cheltenham in March. We’ll have a look at things later on next week,” said the trainer.