Cheltenham Festival: Setback means Comfort Zone will miss JCB Triumph Hurdle
The JP McManus-owned four-year-old was among the favourites for the opening race on Cheltenham Gold Cup day. Having taken the Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow over Christmas, he narrowly downed the previously unbeaten Scriptwriter in the Finesse Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham four weeks later. Comfort Zone was as short as 7-1 to land the Triumph Hurdle, following his previous win in the trial over the same course and distance. Though among a strong Irish challenge, spearheaded by the Willie Mullins-trained trip of Lossiemouth, Blood Destiny and Gala Marceau, O'Brien has been forced to draw stumps after the gelding suffered a minor problem. He said: "Comfort Zone has just had a little hold-up unfortunately. He will potentially make it back for Aintree or Punchestown. "We are obviously disappointed, but we're hopeful we will have him back for the later festivals."
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