Ferny Hollow set to miss Punchestown and wait for next season

Ferny Hollow, who in his short career to date has already beaten the subsequent winners of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, is unlikely to make it back in time for the Punchestown Festival.

Trained by Willie Mullins and owned by Cheveley Park Stud, Ferny Hollow accounted for Appreciate It in last season’s Weatherbys Champion Bumper and Bob Olinger in a maiden hurdle at Gowran in November.

He was ruled out of Cheltenham before Christmas, and while connections had mooted the possibility of him making Punchestown it now appears he will not be seen until next season.

Ferny Hollow's form has been franked
Ferny Hollow’s form has been franked (Weatherbys)

Sir Gerhard made it three successive wins for Cheveley Park in the Champion Bumper, with Envoi Allen winning in 2019, and the Cheveley Park’s managing director Chris Richardson said: “The pressure is on for next year now!

“We must thank Weatherbys and everyone at Cheltenham for putting on such a fantastic meeting, even though owners couldn’t be there.

“I think Punchestown will be in the mix (for Sir Gerhard), he’d had a nice break before Cheltenham since winning at Navan.

“It’s a shame Ferny Hollow had his setback, but he’s recovering well. Whether he runs at Punchestown, we’re not quite sure yet, it may be that we’ll put him away and make sure he’s 200 per cent for next season.

“On the basis of his form he’s a very smart horse.”

Mullins said: “The form is looking rock solid now, and Ferny Hollow looks a good sort.

“I know there was talk at one time about him possibly being back for Punchestown, but at the moment we are not thinking about that. We’ll wait for next season.”