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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 3 March 2021

2018 Stayers' Hurdle winner ruled out of title defence at Cheltenham

Penhill was bidding for a third successive victory at the course.

LAST YEAR’S STAYERS’ Hurdle champion Penhill has been ruled out of a defence of his title at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

Paul Townend on Penhill wins Paul Townend celebrates victory for Penhill. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The Willie Mullins-trained horse has been ruled out through injury and will not feature in the Grade 1 race on the third day of the festival on Thursday 14 March.

“He worked yesterday but was very sore this morning,” revealed Mullins today.

Penhill most recently ran last April, finishing second behind Faugheen in the Punchestown Stayers’ Hurdle. The previous month jockey Paul Townend had steered Penhill to an exciting success at Cheltenham with two lengths to spare over Supasundae.

Paul Townend on Penhill lands ahead of Robbie Power on Supasundae Penhill lands in front of Supasundae to claim victory in last year's Cheltenham Stayers' Hurdle.

Penhill was bidding this year for a third successive triumph at Cheltenham after Townend had guided him to glory on St Patrick’s Day 2017 in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

The absence of Penhill leaves Paisley Park as the favourite

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Fintan O'Toole

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