Muscle injury ends The Storyteller’s Cheltenham hopes

Gordon Elliott forced to scratch favourite from Martin Pipe race on Friday

Trainer Gordon Elliott has been forced to scratch The Storyteller from the  Cheltenham Festival after the horse suffered a muscle injury. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Trainer Gordon Elliott has been forced to scratch The Storyteller from the Cheltenham Festival after the horse suffered a muscle injury. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

 

Gordon Elliott’s The Storyteller has suffered a setback which has ruled him out of the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham on Friday.

His enforced absence is another blow to ante-post punters as the six-year-old was a strong market leader at a general 4-1.

Elliott told his Betfair blog: ”Unfortunately, The Storyteller pulled a muscle while exercising this morning and will not make it to the Festival.“

The Storyteller had won his last two races, at Down Royal and at Thurles, by an aggregate of 18 lengths.

Meanwhile, conditions remained unchanged at Cheltenham on Saturday as only a little rain has been forecast ahead of the four-day Festival that starts on Tuesday.

The question of watering has not yet come up, with clerk of the course Simon Claisse at this stage looking mainly towards the beginning of the meeting.

“I’m leaving the old and new courses as good to soft, and the cross-country course is still good to soft, good in places,” said clerk of the course Simon Claisse.

“The outlook remains mostly dry, although we might get a little light rain.

“Watering is not in our current thinking. We are only looking to the beginning of the week.”

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