Another blow for Willie Mullins as Arctic Fire is ruled out of Cheltenham Festival
Arctic Fire has been ruled out of the Stan James Champion Hurdle at next month's Cheltenham Festival due to injury.
Having chased home stable companion Faugheen in last year's renewal and in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown last month, Arctic Fire looked a major contender for top honours next month following last week's shock news that Faugheen would miss the remainder of the season after suffering a setback.
However, Willie Mullins' hopes of retaining the hurdling crown have been dealt another major blow, with the champion trainer confirming on Tuesday evening that Arctic Fire would not be making the journey to Prestbury Park.
Mullins said on Twitter: "Unfortunately, #ArcticFire is out of @CheltenhamRaces.
"It looks like he has a little chip off a sesamoid bone which will need to be removed."