Bidding to reclaim the Paddy Power Gold Cup he won in 2020, the Evan Williams-trained 11-year-old was pulled up by Adam Wedge after making a mistake at the fifth fence in the renewal won by Ga Law.
The Wayne Clifford-owned gelding has a good record in the big chases over two and a half miles at Cheltenham, also having landed the Plate at the Festival in March. The Berkshire track will represent a change of scenery, however, since he has run at Cheltenham on 14 of his last 15 starts, including winning a pair of Grade Three contests last term. "He's grand. He just slipped," said Williams. "He is sound this morning, seems fine and is entered at Ascot on Saturday. "All is well, but it is a little quiet as, like everyone else, we could do with a drop of rain really. We will keep chipping away." Ascot is expecting between 15mm-18mm of rain between Tuesday and Saturday, where the Coral Hurdle shares Grade Two billing with the Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase. The Venetia Williams-trained L'Homme Presse is pencilled in to run his first race of the season in the latter, starting over an extended two miles and five furlongs after taking the Brown Advisory over an extended three miles in soft ground at Cheltenham in March. Supreme winner and current Champion Hurdle favourite Constitution Hill is set to make his seasonal bow in the Coral Hurdle, while Arkle Trophy winner Edwardstone, who was a non-runner in Sunday's Shloer Chase, could reappear in the Jim Barry Wines Hurst Park Handicap Chase against the likes of Allmankind, Thyme White and Funambule Sivola.
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