Multiple Grade One winner Road To Respect has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering an injury setback.
The Noel Meade-trained nine-year-old made a flying start to his campaign when successfully defending his crown in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal, defeating subsequent King George hero Clan Des Obeaux to seal his fourth Grade One victory.
He was far from disgraced in finishing third in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over the Christmas period – and was in line for a return to the Dublin circuit for the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup on Sunday week, in which he was narrowly denied by Bellshill last season.
However, he is now set for a spell in the sidelines due to a leg problem.
Meade said: “Unfortunately he won’t run again this season. It’s a big blow, but it’s one of those things.
“Hopefully he will (be back next season). You never really know, but he’s only a nine-year-old who hasn’t been over-raced and we’ll be doing everything we can to get him back.”
Road To Respect was a general 9-2 chance for the Irish Gold Cup.