Last season’s Champion Bumper hero Ferny Hollow has been ruled out of the Cheltenham Festival due to injury.
The Cheveley Park Stud-owned gelding stormed up the famous hill to provide trainer Willie Mullins with a 10th Champion Bumper success in March and made a fine start to his career over hurdles when seeing off subsequent winner Bob Olinger at Gowran Park last month.
However, the five-year-old was not entered to run over the Christmas period and connections have now confirmed he will miss much of the current campaign, if not all.
Chris Richardson, managing director of owners Cheveley Park Stud, told RacingTV.com: “Ferny Hollow has a suspected stress fracture behind. Although nothing is immediately visible on his X-rays, that is often the case with a stress fracture and so we are treating it as such.
“Sadly, he will miss the Cheltenham Festival. We hope he might be able to make it back for Punchestown, but we will have to see.
“It’s very frustrating but he’s very special, so we’re being conservative with him.”