Connections had hoped to run the Dessie Hughes-trained gelding at Cheltenham where he holds entries in the Ryanair Chase, sponsored by his owner Michael O’Leary of Gigginstown House Stud, and the Betfred Gold Cup.
However, everything is on hold after he made a bad mistake at the fourth last fence which cost him any chance he had in Sunday’s Grade One feature,
“Thank God he’s sound. He made a bit of a mistake at the fifth last and then at the next he’s done the splits at the back of it and that finished him,” said Hughes.
“It’s hard to go to Cheltenham now after that. I don’t really know what we will do next. I’ll leave it up to Michael O’Leary (owner) to see whether we go over there or not.
“It’s a shame as he was travelling very sweet yesterday up to that point and we were happy with him.
“If the other fella (Roberto Goldback) could finish second I’d be convinced he’d have finished close to him if not in front of him.”
Even so, Hughes was delighted with Roberto Goldback’s effort in running the winner Quel Esprit to two lengths.
The John Smith’s Grand National and the Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup are now the main options for the 10-year-old.
“He ran a very good race. He’s fine and he’ll probably run in the English National now, or he’ll go back to Punchestown for the Gold Cup there,” the Co Kildare handler said.
“He unseated his rider at the last year when he was going to win.”
Hughes reported Vic Venturi to have scoped dirty after the 12-year-old was well beaten in the three-mile hunter chase on the Leopardstown card.
The Irish trainer will see how quickly the horse recovers before deciding whether to run him in the Christie’s Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham or the John Smith’s Fox Hunters’ Chase at Aintree.