Cheltenham countdown: Willoughby Court not a certain runner

Mon 26 Feb 2018
2017 Cheltenham Festival - Ladies Day - Cheltenham Racecourse Willoughby Court is not certain to run at Cheltenham because of a foot problem (PA)

By staff

JLT Novices' Chase favourite Willoughby Court is suffering with a foot problem and might not run at the Cheltenham Festival.

Ben Pauling's stable star, a winner at the Festival last March, has an abscess and it all depends upon how long it takes to clear up.

Jason Maguire, racing manager for Willoughby Court's owners Paul and Clare Rooney, said: "He's got a bit of an abscess in his foot, which is frustrating, but we'll just have to see how he is over the next few days. It's very disappointing to come so close to Cheltenham but it can't be helped."

He added: "His owners are very patient and are very happy to do what is best by him.

"We'll make a decision in the next couple of days whether he's fit enough to go to Cheltenham or not. If he can't go, he can't go."

The Rooneys were dealt a blow last week when If The Cap Fits, their leading SkyBet Supreme Novice Hurdle hope, was ruled out of the meetung with a muscle problem.

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