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Blow for Murphy as Vedette ruled out of Leopardstown

Voler La Vedette has been ruled out of Sunday's Toshiba Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown after suffering a setback.

Colm Murphy's six-year-old had been as short as 3-1 for the Grade One contest following successes at Punchestown, Down Royal and Leopardstown this season, but she will not take her place in the line-up.

"She was just doing a routine canter and wasn't 100 per cent afterwards so we had her checked out and found she had pulled a muscle," said Murphy. She obviously won't be running at the weekend but we won't know for a day or two how bad it is.

"It's going to stop her for a week anyway but hopefully it's not too serious."

Owner Judy Wilson is unsure whether Punchestowns will take up his engagement in Saturday's Grade Two sportingbet.com Altcar Novices' Chase at Haydock.

Last season's World Hurdle runner-up was a brilliant winner on his chasing debut at Newbury in November but has not seen the racecourse since due to a combination of weather and ground.

The two-and-a-half-mile Haydock contest could shape up into a fascinating event with classy hurdler Diamond Harry among the entries despite having never seen a fence in public.

Bedlam Boy, Bensalem, Copper Bleu and Knockara Beau are other interesting contenders.

"It's all a bit up in the air at the moment. Nicky (Henderson) is going to have a look at the entries and weigh it all up," said Wilson.

"I've told him I'd quite like to go to Sandown in a couple of weeks for the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase, but I know how it works and Nicky will do what is best for the horse."

Nicky Henderson's exciting prospect General Miller looks set to put his unbeaten record on the line in the Grade Two sportingbet.com Novices' Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.

Having won two bumpers as he liked last season, he made the perfect start to his career over obstacles when beating the highly touted Ghizao at Cheltenham last month.

"General Miller is in very good form and he'll probably go to Haydock for the Rossington Main," said owner Henry Ponsonby.

"We had been looking at Taunton on Thursday but I believe Ghizao is going there and we don't really want to be running against him giving him 6lb."