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Gold Cup hope Valseur Lido to miss rest of season with injury

Valseur Lido: the classy chaser looks set for a spell on the sidelines
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Just two days after calling time on the brilliant career of Don Cossack, Gigginstown House Stud received another hammer blow in their bid to record a third Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup with the news that Valseur Lido will miss the rest of the season after sustaining an injury in routine morning exercise on Friday.

The dual Grade 1-winning chaser was being put through his daily workout at Henry de Bromhead’s training base in Knockeen when he suffered a condylar fracture to a cannon bone and was immediately taken to Fethard Equine Hospital to be operated on.

Eddie O’Leary, racing manager of Gigginstown House Stud, confirmed: “He was having a normal canter when it happened.

“He was due to be operated on late Friday evening. Hopefully the operation will go well and we will have a positive update on Saturday morning but it’s very hard to say anything when we really don’t know.”

Valseur Lido began his season with a wide-margin victory in the Champion Chase at Down Royal in November before finishing fourth in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown last month.

A return to Foxrock for the Stan James Irish Gold Cup had been on the eight-year-old’s agenda for his next start in February before a tilt at either the Ryanair Chase or the Gold Cup.

All connections are concerned about now is allowing Valseur Lido the necessary time to recuperate with a view of getting him back on a racecourse.

O’Leary added: “I'm hopeful a couple of screws will sort it out but without having spoken to Gerry Kelly [vet], it's impossible to ascertain prognosis just yet. Hopefully it won’t be career-ending but we won’t make any further comment until we see how he comes through the operation."

Valseur Lido had been a general 8-1 chance for the Ryanair Chase and a 25-1 shot for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Such is the strength in depth of the maroon-and-white army, Gigginstown still have at least two live bullets to fire at Thistlecrack in the Gold Cup.

The Gordon Elliott-trained Outlander is understood to be going straight to Cheltenham after his Lexus Chase win while stablemate Don Poli, who finished third in the Gold Cup last season, is also on target.

Empire Of Dirt could yet enter the Gold Cup picture, and is a best-priced 50-1 shot. After winning the Troytown Chase in style earlier this season, the ten-year-old is expected to line up in either the Stan James Irish Gold Cup or the Chase before any Cheltenham decision is made.

Hopefully the operation will go well and we will have a positive update on Saturday morning but it’s very hard to say anything when we really don’t know
E.W. Terms