Hopes of a third Ryanair Chase win for the brilliant Allaho have been dashed for the second year in succession after connections were again forced to rule him out of the Cheltenham Festival.
The Willie Mullins-trained 10-year-old carried the colours of Cheveley Park Stud to stunning Ryanair wins in 2021 and 2022, but missed the entirety of last season through injury.
He made a successful return from 19 months on the sidelines in the Clonmel Oil Chase in November and while he had to make do with minor honours in third when favourite for the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day, he bounced back to winning ways when notching a third triumph in last week’s Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase at Thurles.
That 13-length victory saw Allaho cement his place at the head of ante-post lists for this year’s Ryanair Chase on March 14, but he will not be making the trip to Prestbury Park.
Chris Richardson, Cheveley Park’s managing director, told the PA news agency: “Allaho was found to be lame after his race at Thurles and it’s been diagnosed as a strained hock, so he’s going to require several weeks rest and recuperation and therefore sadly misses Cheltenham.
“It’s very frustrating, as it was good to see him return to form the other day, but he wasn’t 100 per cent afterwards and we’re just going to have to give him the time, I’m afraid.”
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