Last Instalment has been ruled out of the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival following an injury he picked up in his win at Leopardstown on Sunday in the Grade One Moriarty Novice Chase.
The odds on the seven-year old had been slashed for the top novice chase at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival following his fourth consecutive win of his campaign, however, the news of his withdrawal was then announced on Wednesday when the extent of his injury was assessed.
Trainer Phillip Fenton has admitted his disappointing but is now aiming to get him back fit again for next season.
“He’s jarred both tendons I’m afraid as is on the easy list,” he said. “He won’t run again before the end of the season, but will hopefully be back next year.”
Last Instalment’s withdrawal has forced bookmarkers to cut the price of ante-post favourite Grand Crus for the RSA Chase. Connections of the seven-year old have yet to confirm which race he will line up in at the Festival but it is looking increasingly more likely that he will he will take the novice route and aim for the Cheltenham Gold Cup next year. Those looking for Cheltenham Festival tips will be keeping an eye on him.
David Pipe’s runner’s biggest threat now looks to be Bobs Worth who will run in the three mile chase race at Prestbury Park. He started the season by beating Cue Card in a tight finish at Newbury, but then could only finish third behind Grand Crus and Silviniaco Conti in the Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
First Lieutenant finished second behind Last Instalment at Leopardstown on Sunday and now becomes Ireland’s leading chance for the race.