Grade One-winning hurdler Elixir De Nutz will miss the remainder of the season after meeting with a setback.
The Colin Tizzard-trained six-year-old is reported to have aggravated the same injury that ruled him out of last year’s Cheltenham Festival.
In two starts this season, last year’s Tolworth Hurdle winner has looked a shadow of his former self, having finished down the field in the International at Cheltenham and the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Assistant trainer Joe Tizzard said: “He has just tweaked the same injury he had last season.
“It has not been happening for him this season and he will be out for the rest of it.
“We will build him back up and go novice chasing next season. It is only a very minor injury, but enough to stop with him.”
Stablemate Master Debonair will head straight to Aintree next month and swerve an outing in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Tizzard added: “We wanted to get a prep run into him because of his jumping, but we pulled him about at Ascot over two-miles-three and he came out of it a bit stiff.
“He is fine now and is in full work. Against Sporting John the race left its mark, so we would be rushing to get to Cheltenham.
“We have spoken to the owners and they were happy to freshen him right up to go to Aintree. He would be one that wants nicer ground, so it works out for everybody.”