Guitar Pete has suffered a setback, which has caused trainer Nicky Richards to scrap plans to try him over three miles in the Sky Bet Handicap Chase at Doncaster.
The Greystoke handler was looking forward to trying his consistent performer over the new distance on Town Moor, and has not ruled out that experiment at some point in the future.
“Unfortunately, he won’t be running for a little while. We’ve had a slight setback with him,” said Richards.
“It’s going to hold us up a month. He was out in the paddock on Sunday, and got himself a little cut on his leg.”
Saturday’s absence does not signal a long-term lay-off, though.
“He’ll be back for the spring,” said Richards.
“There’s plenty of nice races then. I don’t know if he’ll get to Cheltenham in March – but there’s Aintree, Ayr, Perth and Punchestown. Then he’ll back in the autumn for the races he went for this season.
“I would have thought we will try him over three miles at some stage. The plan was to run him on Saturday, and I think it would have been interesting to see how he fared at that trip. It’s a good option to have.”
Guitar Pete finished third in the BetVictor Gold Cup and the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, both at Cheltenham, on his last two starts. He won the latter handicap chase over an extended two and a half miles in December 2017.