Cheltenham Gold Cup third Forget The Past is on the road to recovery after suffering from a back problem.
Michael O’Brien’s chaser, owned like stable star In Compliance by property tycoon Sean Mulryan, has been off the track since chasing home War Of Attrition at the Punchestown Festival.
He is nearing a return to action, possibly over hurdles, but it is unlikely he will line up in the blue-riband event if his stable companion can prove his stamina in the Hennessey next month.
“What happened with Forget The Past is there are three discs in the back of a horse that are supposed to be an inch apart, but his have come together and they are rubbing on one another,” said O’Brien.
“We’ve given him some time off and so far he looks okay, but we won’t really know until he gets close to running. We hope to have him out in the next two to three weeks.
“We will probably give him a run over hurdles and as long as that goes okay then fine, but if not he will probably have to have an operation on his back.
“If the hurdles run goes okay he will probably go for one of the two races he ran in last year before Cheltenham, the Red Mills Chase at Gowran or the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse.
“If In Compliance proves that he stays though and he runs in the Gold Cup Forget The Past will give it a miss. We think the other is a much better horse anyway,” he told At the Races.
“In Compliance was always going to be a Gold Cup horse for us. As long as he proves he stays he has much more pace.
“Forget The Past is a good horse, but he doesn’t have the pace of the likes of In Compliance or Kauto Star. I know he was third last year, but he just doesn’t have the pace of the other horse.
“He made a couple of horrendous mistakes in the Gold Cup and they were probably caused by the the problem with his back. He jumped like a stag when he ran in the Paddy Power but he fell on the Flat at home after that and that is what happened to him.”