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Doddiethegreat suffers season-ending injury

Exciting prospect Doddiethegreat has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering an injury during his latest victory at Kempton three weeks ago.

The five-year-old – who runs in the Honeysuckle colours of owner Kenny Alexander – is named after Scottish rugby union great Doddie Weir, who is suffering from motor neurone disease.

Weir set up his own charity – the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation – to raise funds to aid research into MND, and Alexander has kindly donated all prize-money Doddiethegreat accrues to the charity.

Impressive in winning bumpers at Ludlow and Huntingdon last season, Nicky Henderson’s charge made a fine start to his jumping career with a 22-length success at Kempton – taking his career earnings to just under £9,000.

But Alexander’s racing manager, Peter Molony, revealed afterwards Doddiethegreat had returned with “quite a nasty cut”, and he is now set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines.

Molony said: “He will be fine, but he’s going to miss the rest of the season sadly.

“He gave his tendon a bit of a knock in the race. We’re very confident that he’ll be fine, but it’s going to take a bit of time.

“It’s a pity, he’s an exciting horse. Hopefully he’ll be back next year – we’ll look forward to that.”

Doddiethegreat romps to victory on hurdling debut

Doddiethegreat made an impressive start to the campaign as he cantered home by 22 lengths in the Watch RacingTV With Free Trial Now Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton.

Trained by Nicky Henderson, the five-year-old runs in the Honeysuckle colours of owner Kenny Alexander.

He is named after Scottish rugby union great Doddie Weir, who is suffering from motor neurone disease and has set up his own charity to help others in the same situation.

The My Name’5 Doddie Foundation aims to raise funds to aid research into MND, and Alexander has donated everything Doddiethegreat earns to the charity – adding just over £4,000 to the pot when he triumphed as the 1-3 favourite in the hands of Nico de Boinville on his hurdling debut.

The Nicky Henderson-trained runner was a bit keen in the early stages and showed his inexperience on what was just his third outing, but nevertheless his performance impressed Alexander’s racing manager Peter Molony.

“We were very pleased with the performance considering he pulled so hard – he was very fresh,” he said.

“He’s obviously got a pretty serious engine and it’s great for Doddie Weir’s foundation.

“Kenny has only met Doddie once, but he was very impressed when he met him, so he decided to do this.”

Molony reported Doddiethegreat to have sustained a cut during the race, but is hoping for a swift recovery.

He added: “We have one slight worry as the horse came back with quite a nasty cut. Hopefully he’ll be fine.

“He’s very exciting. I would think in a more strongly-run race he’ll jump better and settle better.

“Nicky has been very positive about him since he came back from his summer break, so fingers crossed the cut won’t be too bad and he’ll be OK.”

Doddiethegreat does charity proud at Huntingdon

Doddiethegreat was a popular winner of the bumper at Huntingdon on Tuesday.

Trained by Nicky Henderson, the five-year-old runs in the Honeysuckle colours of owner Kenny Alexander.

He is named after Scottish rugby union great Doddie Weir, who is suffering from motor neurone disease and has set up his own charity to help others in the same situation.

The My Name’5 Doddie Foundation aims to raise funds to aid research into MND, and Alexander has donated everything Doddiethegreat earns to the charity – and on this showing, there will be plenty more.

Already a winner at Ludlow, the 5-6 favourite conceded lumps of weight to second-placed Kalmoor but ran out a four-and-a-half-length winner.

Both Henderson and jockey Nico de Boinville also donated their share of the winnings from the Racing TV-sponsored contest.

Peter Molony, Alexander’s racing manager, said: “Kenny met Doddie a few years ago at a rugby international.

“Scotland were playing Fiji, and Kenny has a Fijian sister-in-law. Her son was with them. They met Doddie, and he made their day – Kenny thought he was an absolute superstar.

“Kenny loves his rugby and was really keen to do something to help Doddie. It’s nice of Nico and Nicky as well.”

Molony is looking to an exciting future with the unbeaten gelding.

“I loved the way he won the last day, and the second came out and won well, which is always a good sign,” he said.

“It’s never easy to give away a penalty in a bumper, but he was giving a stone to a fancied horse today and won well.

“He won’t run again this season, that will be it, and we can look forward to going hurdling next season with him.”