Nicky Henderson remains “very hopeful” of leading fancy Santini overcoming a late scare to make the line-up for the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
The seven-year-old has won one of his two starts over fences this term, finishing third behind star mare La Bague Au Roi when upped to Grade One company on Boxing Day.
Off the track since that run, Henderson opted to take Santini for a racecourse gallop at Newbury on Sunday, but he pulled off a shoe in the process and is now battling to be fit for the RSA on the second day of the Festival.
Henderson tweeted on Tuesday afternoon: “Unfortunately Santini is still rather sore on his near-fore foot as a result of losing a shoe on Sunday and is quite lame.
“He has exercised on the treadmill this morning and the foot was re-poulticed afterwards.
“It is extremely frustrating and we are monitoring the situation, but are obviously still very hopeful of making the RSA.
“His shoe will go back on tomorrow and it’s a day by day process but we’ll keep you updated accordingly.”