De Rasher Counter has been ruled out for the season due to a tendon injury.
Emma Lavelle’s chaser was being prepared to defend his Ladbrokes Trophy title at Newbury later this month after finishing second on his seasonal bow over hurdles at Newton Abbot in October.
However, the eight-year-old has suffered a setback and Lavelle feels the best course of action is to draw stumps for the whole campaign.
“He just had a bit of heat in his near-fore (leg) this morning,” said Lavelle.
“He is 100 per cent sound, but I just wasn’t happy with it. Our vet came in and scanned it and there’s a mark on the tendon, so that’s the end of our defence – for this year anyway.
“It’s not the end of the world, these things happen, but it’s a kick in the teeth.
“He’ll miss the whole season because if we try to bring him back earlier and it doesn’t work, then we’ll miss longer, so if we bite the bullet and take the sensible route, it’s the best thing.
“He’s only eight, he’s a lovely horse, so it makes sense to give him time and bring him back when there’s a bit more normality in the world.”
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