Ante-post favourite Adagio will miss the Unibet International Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday after suffering a minor setback.
David Pipe’s stable star enjoyed an excellent juvenile campaign last season – winning at Cheltenham and Chepstow before filling the runner-up spot in the Triumph Hurdle at the Festival and at Aintree.
Having made a fine start to his campaign when second in last month’s Greatwood Hurdle, Adagio was the 2-1 market leader for this weekend’s Grade Two contest with the sponsors, but will not be lining up.
Pipe posted on Twitter: “Unfortunately Adagio misses the International Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday due to a slight setback.”
Tom Symonds will wait until close to final declaration time before deciding whether to allow Song For Someone to bid for back-to-back victories in the race.
The six-year-old repelled the late challenge of Silver Streak by a nose 12 months ago and made a pleasing seasonal reappearance when second to Buzz in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot last month.
Symonds has been pleased with his stable star since then and has to decide whether to head back to Cheltenham or wait for the Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.
“He’s in good form. He came out of the Coral really well. We’re not sure if we’re going to go on Saturday, but it looks a nice type of race,” said the Ross-on-Wye handler.
“Obviously he won it last year, which was a fully subscribed edition of it.
“I don’t know what’s going to decide whether he goes or not. The ground looks good for him and everything like that.
“It’s a competitive version of the race, which it should be. We’re happy where he is. It will be either this or the Christmas Hurdle. We’ll make a decision near declaration time.
“He handles most types of ground. I do wonder if he is better on good ground with a stiff two miles, which this is.
“If we feel it’s right to run, we will have a go at winning it for a second time, which will be quite hard.”