Our Father hasn’t a prayer of lining out at Cheltenham

Ante-post favourite Our Father has been removed from the betting by most bookmakers for the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival next Thursday.
Our Father hasn’t a prayer of lining out at Cheltenham

The 10-year-old grey, who was due to be ridden by Nina Carberry, has suffered an injury, trainer Gordon Elliott confirmed at a Cheltenham preview night.

Our Father finished ninth in the Kim Muir in 2014, when trained by David Pipe, and was last seen finishing second in a handicap chase at Cheltenham on his final start for the Pond House handler on January 1, 2015. Elliott’s new recruit still holds an entry in the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree, but his injury could keep him out of action for the rest of the campaign.

Meanwhile, More Of That, winner of both his starts over fences, is among 22 horses left in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham on Wednesday following the confirmation stage.

His two victories this term came on this course where he also landed the World Hurdle two years ago. Jonjo O’Neill’s charge has been hogging favouritism in the ante-post market along with the Gordon Elliott-trained No More Heroes, who has chalked up two Grade One wins in an unbeaten record of three over the bigger obstacles.

No More Heroes is among a strong Irish contingent that includes eight possibles from the Willie Mullins stable: Black Hercules, Measureofmydreams, Outlander, Pleasant Company, Pont Alexandre, Roi Des Francs, Sambremont, and Shaneshill.

Heading the British contingent are the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Blaklion, Nicky Henderson’s Vyta Du Roc, and Seeyouatmidnight from Sandy Thomson’s Berwickshire yard.

Willie Mullins is responsible for seven of the 25 horses at the six-day entry stage for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham next Wednesday. Mullins has saddled a record eight previous winners of the two-mile Grade One and heading this year’s squad is the mare Augusta Kate, who is unbeaten after two starts and carries the colours of a celebrity syndicate that includes Ant and Dec, Alan Shearer, and Lee Westwood.

Mullins can also call upon Avenir D’Une Vie, who could be a rare Champion Bumper runner for Gigginstown House Stud, Bacardys, Battleford, Castello Sforza, Turcagua, and Very Much So.

The Jessica Harrington-trained New To This Town, Dermot Weld’s First Figaro, and Winsome Bucks from Tom Hogan’s yard are the three other potential challengers from Ireland.

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