Captain Chris: connections have decided not to run at PunchestownPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Captain abandons ship as Chris misses Gold Cup
CAPTAIN CHRIS will miss Saturday's rescheduled Thetote.com Punchestown Gold Cup after Philip Hobbs revealed that the deterioration in ground conditions had caused them to think again about running the top-class chaser.
Last season's winner of Punchestown's Ryanair Novice Chase had been set to start under Richard Johnson when the race was first due to be staged on Wednesday but he will not appear when new declarations are unveiled on Friday.
Hobbs said: "We've decided not to run Captain Chris on Saturday. We're not sure about his stamina and I think it would be unfair to ask him to go three miles on ground that is going to be very soft indeed."
The trainer added that he will now have no runners at Punchestown on Saturday with his other entries also to be removed at Friday's declaration stage.
With a number of chases lost on Wednesday and Thursday, Punchestown officials have released a revised running order for Friday and Saturday of the festival. It is hoped the nine races lost to the wet weather will be run at a later date.
Friday - day four card
4.55 Ryanair Novice Chase (Grade 1)
5.30 Rabobank Champion Hurdle (Grade 1)
6.05 Cathal Ryan Memorial Champion Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)
6.40 Star Best For Racing Coverage Novice Hurdle
7.10 ITBA Fillies Scheme Premier Bumper
Saturday - day five card
2.30 The Irish Field Steeplechase
3.10 thetote.com Punchestown Gold Cup (Grade 1)
3.45 Guinness Handicap Chase (Grade A)
4.25 ITBA Fillies Scheme EBF (Mares) Hurdle (Grade 3)
5.00 The AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle (Grade 1)
5.35 The Setantabet.com Hurdle (Handicap) (Grade B)