Diamond Harry to miss Gold Cup

DIAMOND HARRY has been ruled out of the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Winner of the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in November, when he had Denman behind him, the Nick Williams-trained eight-year-old had been as short as 8-1 in places for steeplechasing’s blue riband event.

Owner Paul Duffy said: “He’s got a suspensory ligament problem as I understand it from Nick.

“It was diagnosed today by the vet, so unfortunately he is out of the Gold Cup and that will be it for the season.

“Nick reckons he will need to rest for around four months given the nature of his situation.

“It’s not as serious as a tendon injury thankfully, but that’s the ups and downs of racing I’m afraid.

“We were very hopeful for him in the Gold Cup. He goes well fresh and we felt it was the right thing to do not to run again after the Hennessy.”

Duffy and Williams can at least look forward to possible Cheltenham success with Reve De Sivola.

Duffy said: “Reve De Sivola is entered in the National Hunt Chase and the Jewson so we are hopeful. The National Hunt Chase is the favoured option at the moment.”

Meanwhile Philip Fenton is happy with Dunguib as his pride and joy builds up towards a crack at the Stan James Champion Hurdle on Tuesday week.

The County Tipperary trainer reports the eight-year-old to be all the better for his comeback win at Gowran Park last month after being off the track since April.

“Everything is fine, it’s so far so good and we’re not far away from it now. I couldn’t be happier with him. All has gone to plan. He’s come out of his Gowran race very well and all roads lead to Cheltenham,” said Fenton.

“He did a bit of work on Wednesday and we were very pleased. He’ll possibly do a bit next Wednesday as well and that will be that.

“It’s always a good Champion Hurdle but this year seems to be above average. We’d like to think we have a good chance. You just need a bit of luck.”

Dunguib, a 16-1 chance with the sponsors, will be making his third successive appearance at the Festival.

Winner of the Weatherbys Champion Bumper in 2009, he was third to fellow Champion Hurdle rival Menorah in the Supreme Novices’ when sent off the 4-5 favourite.

Voy Por Ustedes could return to action over hurdles at Cheltenham ahead of his main target at Aintree next month.

The 10-year-old has been a regular at the Festival since 2006, winning the Arkle Trophy and the Queen Mother Champion Chase as well as finishing second in the latter race and the Ryanair.

He then usually moves on to Aintree, where he won the John Smith’s Melling Chase in 2008 and 2009 – and that race is again the plan.

Since his last outing at Cheltenham in April, he has left Alan King’s stable and is now with Nicky Henderson at Seven Barrows.

“He’s doing OK. We’re satisfied with what he’s done. He’s done a couple of racecourse gallops as well and it’s so far so good with him,” said Barry Simpson, racing manager to owner Sir Robert Ogden.

“His objective is to go to Aintree, but we need to run him somewhere first. He may go to Cheltenham for a hurdle race, that’s a possibility. He’s in the Coral Cup and the Grand Annual Chase.”

The owner could also be represented at Cheltenham by Chamirey and Giorgio Quercus, promoted to first at Sandown recently at the expense of Dan Breen following a very tight finish.

“We may run Giorgio Quercus, he’s in the Arkle and the Grand Annual as well,” Simpson went on.

“A lot will depend on what other horses Nicky is going to run. We’ll see, he’s not 100% certain to run there, but it’s possible.

“We may run Chamirey in the National Hunt Chase. A lot will depend on the ground. He stays and ideally he wants soft ground, but whether he gets that is in the lap of the gods.

“He’s a good staying prospect. It’s all about stamina with him and it’s a possibility he may be entered in the Scottish Grand National or something like that.”

Cheltenham preview night

A CHELTENHAM preview night will take place on next Tuesday night (8pm) at the Corrin Mart Centre in Fermoy.

The panel consists of Ruby Walsh, Paul Nicholls, Paul Barber, Paul Carberry, Pat Keane (Irish Examiner) and Leon Blanche (Boylesports). Kevin O’Ryan will be in the chair. Tickets cost €15, with a free €5 bet.

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