A wind problem has prevented Cue Card from taking his chances at the Cheltenham Festival for the second year running and while he will ready in time for Aintree, he will not be contesting the Ryanair Chase, which he won in 2013, and for which he was as little as 6/1 with the bookmakers.
Trainer Colin Tizzard told the Racing Post on Tuesday morning: “He won’t be going to Cheltenham. He’s got a small wind problem that will be sorted today and he should be all right for Aintree.
“He’s having the wind op today – a little correction – and everybody says he’ll be fine in a week, but he won’t be going to Cheltenham.
“He’s started making a little noise in the last few days.”
Tizzard, however, hopes to get him fit for Aintree’s Grand National meeting where the 2m4f Grade 1 Melling Chase would be a likely target.
Dynaste has also been ruled by trainer David Pipe and as such the field has become more open with Hidden Cyclone now given the go-ahead to contest the Ryanair Chase over a run in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
His trainer, Shark Hanlon, speaking on At The Races said: “We’ve just made a decision and we’ll go for the Ryanair. There’s no Dynaste there this year and with Cue Card pulling out this week, we are heading that way.
“Up to now we were heading towards the Champion Chase but with no Cue Card and the ground drying out, it’s likely to be good by Thursday, so we’re turning that way.”
Hidden Cyclone had been as big as 16-1 with Paddy Power Bookmakers for the Ryanair Chase but has been slashed to 8-1 after Hanlon’s announcement.