Shan Blue ruled out until the spring following Wetherby fall

Shan Blue will be out of action until the spring following his heavy fall when clear in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday.

Trainer Dan Skelton had hoped his promising second-season chaser had escaped unscathed when he came down at the third last with the Grade Two race at his mercy.

However, on further inspection it has been discovered Shan Blue has stiffness in his neck and Skelton does not want to take any chances with the potentially top-class chaser.

In a video posted on Twitter, Skelton explained: “He was obviously going to win the Charlie Hall when he fell. We’ve given him a full check over and he is a bit stiff in his neck.

Shan Blue (left) was a Grade One winner at Kempton last year
Shan Blue (left) was a Grade One winner at Kempton last year (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“Speaking to the vets and Colm (Donlon), his owner, we’ve decided we’re going to back off for a month completely to get all the soreness out of his neck.

“You can stroke him and pat him, he’s not horrendously sore, but he’s just a little bit sore to flex, so we’re going to give him the time that he needs.

“We’ll back off him completely for a month and restart. It does mean that he’ll miss the Ladbrokes Trophy and the King George, but he’s a young horse so we’ve got to do the right thing by him.”

He added: “He’s not an old horse and you can see him having a long career over fences and we want him to be 100 per cent right when we go, so we’ll back off him now and have him ready for the spring, Cheltenham and Aintree.

“Sometimes with horses, when you try to make things happen you are chasing and when you are chasing that is when results don’t go your way and things start to go against you.

“We don’t want to be in that position with any horse, but when you have a horse of this calibre you just cannot chase it, so we’ll give him the time he needs, get him 100 per cent right and you’ll see him in the spring.”

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