Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Drever out for Rest of Season

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Drever out for Rest of Season

Article excerpt

Byline: By Martin Kelly

Inglis Drever became the latest high-profile casualty of the New Year when he was ruled out for the rest of the season with a tendon injury.

Three leading Cheltenham Festival candidates have now been sidelined in as many days, with Harchibald and Kicking King, in addition to Inglis Drever, all suffering setbacks.

The latter, trained by Howard Johnson, was on course to defend his Ladbrokes World Hurdle crown but is now unlikely to be seen out before Christmas.

"He is out as he has injured a tendon," owner Graham Wylie said. The seven-year-old scored at Wetherby on his seasonal bow and then landed the Ballymore Properties Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury in November.

It is thought he picked up the injury around the time of his second run and that may account for his fall when already looking beaten in the totesport Long Walk Hurdle at Chepstow.

"He has had a lot of hard races and we think the problem might have surfaced after the Newbury race," Wylie continued.

"That would explain why he wasn't travelling very well in the Chepstow race and that run could have aggravated it even more." Wylie's No Refuge had already been prominent in the betting for the Cheltenham stayers' contest and the Royal & SunAlliance Hurdle winner is now poised to take over the mantle from his stablemate.

County Durham-based Johnson said: "Yesterday I gave Drever a walk out and a jog and I just wasn't 110 per cent happy, so I called the vet.

"He scanned him and behind the knee there is a black hole, which tells you enough is enough for the season.

"We weren't forced to run him at Chepstow, but I thought we would get another run into him before Cheltenham and I was going to run No Refuge, but he had a stone bruise and didn't run.

"We thought Drever was fit enough just to take the race in his stride ( but that is racing. …

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