Definitly Red has been ruled out of next month’s Grand National meeting at Aintree following his unfortunate exit in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Brian Ellison’s stable star was tracking Invitation Only in the blue riband when that rival was fatally injured in a fall at the 10th fence – bringing down Definitly Red.
The 10-year-old required stitches after suffering a cut and while he will not make Aintree as originally hoped, he could run again this season at the Punchestown Festival.
“He was going very easily and Danny (Cook) said he was enjoying it much more than last year (when sixth),” said Ellison.
“He was well within his comfort zone and was enjoying the ground.
“It’s disappointing, but at least he came home – unlike the other horse.
“He needed five stitches in his knee and they won’t be coming out until Monday, so he won’t make Aintree.
“We’ll enter him for Punchestown, but if he’s not coming right in time we won’t rush him and we’ll rough him off for the summer, with the Charlie Hall his comeback race next season.”
Ellison’s Forest Bihan fared better at last week’s Festival – finishing fourth in the Grand Annual – and he will be heading to Merseyside, along with stablemate Ravenhill Road.
“Forest Bihan could run in the Red Rum Handicap Chase, but he’ll be nearly top-weight, so we might step him up in trip for the JLT (Melling Chase),” said Ellison.
“Ravenhill Road might go as well. He’s had a breathing op since he last ran, while Nietzsche will go too.
“He’s had a breathing op and had a couple of runs on the Flat since winning the Greatwood Hurdle, but he doesn’t like the all-weather.”