Saturday 19 October 2019

Paul Nicholls' Gold Cup contender Topofthegame ruled out for the season due to leg injury

Paul Nicholls. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire
Paul Nicholls. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Paul Nicholls has been hit with a huge blow with the news that RSA Chase winner Topofthegame has been ruled out for the upcoming jumps season with "a minor leg injury".

Topofthegame beat Nicky Henderson's Santini and Gordon Elliott's Delta Work in a pulsating finish at the Cheltenham Festival in March to give champion trainer Nicholls a genuine Gold Cup contender for 2020.

The seven-year-old confirmed his Gold Cup credentials when chasing home Lostintranslation at Aintree and had been as low as 8/1 for next year's blue riband before this unfortunate setback.

‘’Unfortunately Topofthegame is out for the season after sustaining a minor leg injury. While the problem is not serious, it is enough to make us stop with him at this stage and give him plenty of time to recover," Nicholls said on his Betfair blog.

"It’s frustrating because he’d done so well over the summer and has been cantering away nicely at home ahead of a crack at the Ladbroke Trophy (formerly known as the Hennessy) at Newbury at the end of November.

"Hopefully he will be back in training again next season when his long term target will again be the Cheltenham Cup.’"

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