Quito De La Roque: out of action since coming down with a sinus infectionPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Favourite Quito De La Roque out of Gold Cup
QUEL ESPRIT is the new 9-4 favourite for Wednesday's Thetote.com Punchestown Gold Cup after Monday's news that former 7-2 market-leader Quito De La Roque will miss the Grade 1.
Out of action since coming down with a sinus infection after disappointing in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown in December, Quito De La Roque was thought to have fully recovered until a scope showed otherwise on Monday.
Trainer Colm Murphy said: "He scoped badly this morning. It's a re-occurrence of the sinus infection he had earlier this year and he won't be running."
Quel Esprit is followed in the betting by mud-lover Rubi Light, a best-priced 4-1 with Paddy Power and last year's Ryanair Novice Chase winner Captain Chris, 9-2 with the same firm.
Quito De La Roque's owners Gigginstown House Stud have said First Lieutenant is bound for the race Captain Chris won, but they could still have a contender in Wednesday's highlight in the shape of 25-1 shot Magnanimity.