Weld revises Unaccompanied plans as Festival hopes fall flat
DERMOT WELD is targeting a return to the Flat in the spring for Unaccompanied after the mare was ruled out of the Cheltenham Festival.
The six-year-old has suffered a setback which means she will not take on Quevega in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle in two weeks' time.
"Unfortunately, she won't be going to Cheltenham," said the Curragh trainer. "She's pulled a muscle ever so slightly and it will mean a week to 10 days' rest.
"She'd been in great form and it (the setback) is only ever so slight. She may run next back on the Flat in Listed class in late March, early April."
Unaccompanied, who was runner-up behind Hurricane Fly in the Istabraq Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown in December, had been second favourite at around 6/1 behind Quevega, who has won the mares' race for the last four years.
Trainer Donald McCain remains confident Overturn will make life "very difficult" for red-hot favourite Simonsig in the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy at Cheltenham.
Nicky Henderson's Simonsig is odds-on across the board for the two-mile novice championship after resounding victories at Ascot and Kempton.
Asked for his thoughts on Simonsig, McCain replied with a smile: "He's been grand, he's been very impressive, but he hasn't been second in a Champion Hurdle, has he? We know what Overturn will do. If Simonsig can follow him and go past him then good luck to him, but it's not going to be easy."