Sunday 18 February 2018

Costello's bad break sees him miss out on Festival

Tom Peacock

Irish jockey Dougie Costello will miss this week's Cheltenham Festival after suffering a suspected double fracture to his leg in a fall at Stratford.

Costello fell from Veiled Applause three flights from home in the two-mile handicap hurdle and was taken to Warwick Hospital.

The Galway native had been due to partner leading fancy Recession Proof in today's curtain-raiser, the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, while his mounts later in the week included Wayward Prince in the RSA Chase and course specialist Midnight Chase -- who will now be ridden by Tom Scudamore -- in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday.

Costello's day had begun much brighter, helping Palawi (1/3 favourite) shrug off Sidney Melbourne in the opening juvenile hurdle.

The race in which Costello suffered his injury ended with Tony McCoy reaching 199 for the season on the eve of the Festival -- but his mount Remember Now left him feeling anything but joyful.

In fact it was more of a cruel reminder, as the chestnut is a half-brother to Binocular, who was taken out of the Champion Hurdle at the final hour after he had been receiving medical treated for an allergy.

Remember Now also represents trainer Nicky Henderson and owner JP McManus, but bears no further similarity to his sibling and was without a win in three prior novice starts.

He looked like easily justifying his position as 5-2 joint-favourite at the top of the straight but was very nearly caught out on the line by Tatispout.

"That's the nearest he's ever going to get to Binocular," rued McCoy.

Cork All Star, once a Cheltenham Champion Bumper winner for Jessica Harrington, continued his smooth progress for the Quinlan family in the novices' hunters chase.

Trainer Jo Quinlan said: "He only ever does enough. He'll definitely go to the Punchestown Festival and could run at Ascot on April 11 in between."

This has been a dreadful year for Henry Daly but Up To The Mark may have helped him turn the corner by landing the novices' handicap chase.

Irish Independent

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