Star jumper Sizing John has been sidelined for the rest of the National Hunt season after suffering another injury setback.
Trainer Jessica Harrington said the injury was different from the one that kept the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner off the scene for more than two years.
The 10-year-old made his long-awaited return over hurdles at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve – and while he fell three flights from the finish, connections took enough encouragement from his performance to aim for a second win in this weekend’s Irish Gold Cup.
But he will not be lining up at the Dublin Racing Festival and has also been scratched from the Cheltenham Gold Cup, next month’s Ascot Chase and the Grand National in April.
“Sadly Sizing John will not be running in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown,” Harrington said on Twitter.
“He was not 100 per cent this morning following his last fast work at the Curragh yesterday. This is a new injury, and it will rule him out for the rest of the season. (It is) very frustrating for all our team.”