Thyme Hill to miss Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival next week with muscle injury


Thyme Hill to miss Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival next week with muscle injury… with lame Energumene also out of Arkle Novices’ Chase

  • Thyme Hill’s clash with Paisley Park was hotly anticipated at Cheltenham 
  • He beat that rival in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury in November 
  • Paisley Park gained revenge by a neck in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot

Thyme Hill, second favourite for the Stayers’ Hurdle at next week’s Cheltenham Festival, is out of the meeting because of a muscle injury.

The news broke shortly after it emerged that Energumene, the Willie Mullins-trained Arkle Novices’ Chase hope, is lame and will also miss the Festival.

Thyme Hill’s clash with Paisley Park in the Stayers’ Hurdle next Thursday was one of the most eagerly awaited clashes of the Festival.

Thyme Hill is out of the Stayers' Hurdle at next week's Cheltenham Festival due to injury

Thyme Hill is out of the Stayers’ Hurdle at next week’s Cheltenham Festival due to injury

Energumene, the Arkle Novices' Chase hope, is lame and also misses out on the Festival

Energumene, the Arkle Novices’ Chase hope, is lame and also misses out on the Festival

He beat that rival in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury in November before Paisley Park gained revenge by a neck in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot the following month.

Thyme Hill’s trainer Philip Hobbs said: ‘Unfortunately Thyme Hill has sustained a minor muscle tear behind the saddle which will prevent him from running in the Stayers Hurdle next Thursday. However, looking ahead with Aintree in mind next month it should not be a problem.’

Bookmakers were still revising the Stayers’ Hurdle betting but Nicky Henderson’s Shiskin is now 4-7 favourite for the Arkle Novices’ Chase.

Ladbrokes spokesman Jon Lees said: ‘A double dose of bad news emerged this morning with both Energumene and Thyme Hill ruled out of the Festival, in the space of half an hour denying the meeting two of this year’s most eagerly awaited showdowns. The tasks faced by Shishkin and Paisley Park has been made so much easier.’

Thyme Hill's clash with Paisley Park was one of the most eagerly awaited clashes of the Festival

Thyme Hill’s clash with Paisley Park was one of the most eagerly awaited clashes of the Festival



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