Season over for Sounds Russian after Gold Cup mishap at Cheltenham

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The eight-year-old had finished runner-up in both the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby and in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham on his previous two starts. Though sent off at 50-1 in the blue riband, he was in touch with the leaders at the 17th fence, only to be brought down by the fall of Ahoy Senor. Trainer Ruth Jefferson has ruled out both the Aintree and Punchestown festivals for the consistent chaser, who has been brilliantly campaigned. She said: "He is fine, but he is not going to be able to run again this season. "He was just a bit sore after his race. If he didn't go to Aintree, there wasn't a huge amount for him, so we just thought we'd give him a bit of time to get over it and start again next season. "He was unlucky. He jumped the fence brilliantly, but got brought down and got a bit of kicking off A Plus Tard as well, who galloped over the top of him. "It was the wrong place at the wrong time."

Sounds Russian started this season on a mark of 150 and opened with victory in a limited handicap at Kelso in October. He then finished a creditable third to Grand National winner Noble Yeats in the Many Clouds at Aintree. Jefferson feels that now on a mark of 161, options are restricted. She added: "I suppose there are only sort of a limited number of chases you could go for. I don't think he will go back to Kelso for the race he won last October. "That wasn't my initial thought, but we'll see how he is and see what the ground is, and plot our way somewhere. "It is very hard to know where he would have finished in the Gold Cup, really. He was a little outpaced, then came back on the bridle and then he winged the fence he got brought down at. "Next year is a long way off, but we will have a look at races like the Gold Cup nearer the time."

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