Arkle favourite Le Richebourg ruled out for rest of season
Racing Post Arkle favourite Le Richebourg will miss the Cheltenham Festival and the rest of the campaign, trainer Joseph O'Brien has revealed.
The JP McManus-owned novice star had been the general 5-2 market leader for the Arkle but will not run due to injury.
On his Betfair blog O’Brien said: "Unfortunately Le Richebourg will not run in the Arkle and will miss the rest of the season.
"He worked routinely on Saturday, but we weren’t happy with him afterwards, and further investigations this morning have revealed that he has picked up an injury that rules him out for the rest of the season."
The trainer added: "It's very disappointing for everyone here, as he has been brilliant all season and we were very much looking forward to seeing him in action at Cheltenham. We hope he will return to the track next season and pick up where he left off."
In the absence of Le Richebourg, the British-trained trio of Lalor, Glen Forsa and Defi Du Seuil are battling it out for Arkle favouritism, with Lalor just shading it at 3-1 generally.
Defi Du Seuil, McManus's only other Arkle entry, was a mover in the subsequent market shake-up, cut to between 3-1 and 5-1.
He had been favourite for the JLT but was eased to 5-1 second favourite (from 7-2) by Betfair Sportsbook, with the Arkle perhaps now a more likely target.
Frank Berry, racing manager to JP McManus, said: "The news about Le Richebourg was disappointing for all concerned but we haven't sat down and talked about Defi Du Seuil's target. The decision has yet to be made."
Lostintranslation, who just lost out to Defi Du Seuil in the Scilly Isles Chase last time, is Betfair Sportsbook's new 3-1 favourite for the JLT.
Le Richebourg becomes the second leading contender to be ruled out of the Arkle in two weeks after Dynamite Dollars suffered a setback.
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