One horse who will not be attempting to retain his crown at next month’s Cheltenham Festival is 2014 Ryanair Chase winner Dynaste who is sidelined for the rest of the season following a minor injury which the grey incurred during the race when finishing third behind Many Clouds and Smad Place in last month’s BetBright Cup at Prestbury Park, of which trainer David Pipe said: “Unfortunately Dynaste finished very sore behind after his race at the Cheltenham trials meeting last month and has failed to make a sufficient recovery.
“We’ve decided to call time with him this season as it’s far too close to Cheltenham and Aintree. It’s nothing serious but he’s too good to risk and the chances are good for him to be back for a full season next autumn.”
The nine-year-old son of Martiline was a general 4-1 to repeat his victory in the 2m 5f contest five weeks today, a price which is now the best available about Irish challenger Don Cossack who is likely to head straight to the Festival after winning four from four races this season, the latest when taking advantage of the final fence fall of Champagne Fever at Thurles last month although connections believe the mount of Bryan Cooper would have gone on to victory anyway.
The Gordon Elliott-trained eight-year-old could renew rivalry with that horse once again in the Ryanair for which Willie Mullins’ grey can be backed at a standout 10-1 with Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, the same odds available about Cheltenham specialist Johns Spirit who has not been seen since failing to cope with Gold Cup favourite Silviniaco Conti and company in Kempton’s King George on Boxing Day.
One place in front of Jonjo O’Neill’s charge on that occasion was Cue Card who is currently second favourite at a general 7-1 to repeat his 2013 Ryanair win but will need to improve upon a disappointing start to the season if that is to be the case.