Saint Roi, one of the main hopes for owner JP McManus in the Unibet Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham next month is out of the race.
Trainer Willie Mullins has confirmed that last season’s county hurdle winner will miss the Festival, meaning McManus’ main hopes will now be with the Nicky Henderson pair of former champions Epatante and Buveur D’Air.
Mullins has explained the decision.
“He’s out of Cheltenham, I don’t think he’s scratched yet, but chatting to JP the other day, we came to the conclusion that we are not happy with him and he won’t run in Cheltenham,” said Mullins.
“He just hasn’t gone forward, he’s had one or two little niggles and I think JP was happy to maybe just let him get over those” he added.
Willie Mullins himself is bringing the strongest team he can for the festival as he looks to win it again with Al Boum Photo for the third time in a row.