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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020

Cheltenham Champion Hurdle winner could be out for the season after suffering injury

The Gavin Cromwell-trained Epsoir D’Allen has suffered the setback.

ESPOIR D’ALLEN, THE winner of the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March in a memorable fashion, could be set to miss the upcoming season after suffering an injury.

Mark Walsh on Espoir D'Allen celebrates winning the Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Mark Walsh celebrates winning the Champion Hurdle with Espoir D'Allen in March. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The Racing Post have reported this morning that the JP McManus owned horse has been left ‘very lame and sore’ after an accident at home.

“Last Thursday he had done a little canter and coming back in off the gallop he got spooked, reared up and fell over,” said trainer Gavin Cromwell.

“He is in Fethard Equine Hospital and we still haven’t found what’s wrong with him, but it looks like he is going to be out for the season.

“He is very lame and sore on his right front side and he hasn’t improved since he went down there. They are still doing tests on him to try and find the problem and the vets don’t seem very optimistic of him making a speedy recovery.

“It’s a massive blow for everybody in the yard.”

Gavin Cromwell, JP McManus and Mark Walsh celebrate winning with Espoir D'Allen Trainer Gavin Cromwell, owner JP McManus and jockey Mark Walsh after the Champion Hurdle win. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Jockey Mark Walsh steered Espoir D’Allen to that brilliant Cheltenham victory at a price of 16-1. 

Dual winner Buveur D’Air had commanded much of the pre-race focus with Irish mares Apple’s Jade and Laurina expected to produce major challenges.

But instead Walsh and Cromwell combined to land the major prize for McManus with a hugely impressive performance to win by 15 lengths.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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