Theleme ruled out of Stayers’ Hurdle following setback

French star Theleme has been ruled out of the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Trained by Arnaud Chaille-Chaille and owned by the Leeds-based Gordon family, the seven-year-old was being prepared for a crack at the Festival’s day three feature having dominated over the smaller obstacles in his homeland.

The seven-year-old has struck Grade One gold five times in France, including victory in last year’s French Champion Hurdle and successive wins in the Grand Prix d’Automne at Auteuil.

He was due to appear on the Flat next month to add the finishing touches to his Festival preparations, but will now not make the trip to the Cotswolds.

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On having to sit out the action at Prestbury Park, Bertand Le Metayer, the owners’ racing manager, said: “It is disappointing, but that is what racing is all about, you have ups and downs.”

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