Gary Moore last night reported his Racing Post Arkle Trophy hope Ar Mad to be lame following his emphatic victory at Plumpton yesterday.
The horse will be reassessed this morning by Moore’s vet.
Ar Mad had enhanced his prospects for the two-mile novice championship at next month’s Cheltenham Festival with an all-the-way win by 25 lengths in the Download The At The Races App Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.
“He’s lame. It’s his front left leg. He’s been seen by my vet and there’s nothing more to do until the morning. He’ll have another look then,” Moore said.
It was the second blow for Moore as he had revealed earlier in the day that Violet Dancer, who was also an Arkle possible, had fractured a leg during his victory in the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick on Saturday.
Moore’s charge was a surprise 11-length winner of the Grade Two feature, inflicting an unexpected defeat on leading Cheltenham hope L’Ami Serge.
While he finished the race in one piece, Violet Dancer was later found to have suffered a condylar fracture in one of his hind legs.
Moore said: “It is a sickener but he will survive — this game is full of ups and downs and something like that is a great leveller.
“It’s like when you’re on a football team, you start out with your best team and lose one of your best players.
“He did it in the race. He was sound when he left the winner’s enclosure then when he got washed down, he took a lame step. He will be back next season but it’s serious enough to have some time off.
“Plenty of horses have done the same thing and come back.”
Ar Mad, meanwhile, was taken to Moore’s local track to see how he fared going left-handed as he had jumped to the right on his previous run over fences at the East Sussex track.
Since his defeat there on his fencing debut in October, Ar Mad has stamped himself as a leading novice chaser with two victories at Sandown, including the Grade One Henry VIII, and one at Kempton.
The 2-7 favourite completed a four-timer with the minimum of fuss as he totally outclassed his two rivals in the hands of Josh Moore, bounding 25 lengths clear of Alder Mairi without ever being threatened.
“Job done. I was very pleased and Josh was happy with him. He’s had a nice piece of work really,” the trainer said in the immediate aftermath of yesterday’s race.
“He’s not had a hard time of it. He never came off the bridle. It was perfect and I’ve got a month now.
“Fences bring the best out of him.
“He jumps out to the right slightly.
“It’s not a perfect world, but he’s beaten all the best two-milers in this country.
“We’ve just got that Irish horse (Douvan) to beat.
“He does jump right and he does give ground away, but when they are going faster, he jumps straighter.”
The jockey said: “I was very happy with him. He’s grown up a lot.
“He was keen the whole way round and wanted to get on with things, but he wasn’t hanging or anything.
“He jumped right at a few obstacles, but he’s a very clever horse. When he needs to adjust himself he just runs down a little bit to make sure he’s on the right stride.
“He wasn’t hanging away from the rail. He was very straight forward, travelled along strong and has had a great school round.
“He’ll come on a lot fitness wise.
“He’s only done a couple of bits of work at home.
“I was a bit concerned about the ground, but he’s coped with it fine.
“He’s a clever jumper and I wouldn’t be worried about him going to Cheltenham.”
Whether he gets the to do that will now depend on today’s verdict from Moore’s vet.
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