Arctic Fire has been ruled out of the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival because of injury in a second blow for trainer Willie Mullins.
Having chased home stable companion Faugheen last year and again in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown last month, Arctic Fire looked a major contender for top honours next month following last week’s news Faugheen would miss the remainder of the season after suffering a setback.
Mullins broke the news on Twitter.
“Unfortunately, #ArcticFire is out of @CheltenhamRaces,” Mullins said.
“It looks like he has a little chip off a sesamoid bone which will need to be removed.”
Arctic Fire was the $4.20 second favourite with the TAB which is betting on the major races at Cheltenham.