Solwhit Unable to Defend World Hurdle
After claiming the Ladbrokes World Hurdle in impressive fashion last year, Solwhit has been ruled out of a defense in this year’s edition by trainer Charles Byrnes.
Missing his return target on Christmas at Leopardstown after succumbing to an injured fetlock, Solwhit has shown no distinct signs of recovery since and is now faced with too short a lead-up to be competitive or even 100% healthy.
Trainer Byrnes did however reveal his star jumper is likely to reappear at either Punchestown or Aintree; confirming we have not seen the last of Solwhit competitively.
“He’s not going to Cheltenham and he will have to get a longer break” Byrnes said.
“I don’t know if he will be back later in the year – we’ll see, as it is not a serious injury.”
“I was hoping a week’s rest after Leopardstown would sort him, but he has not improved and we had to make a decision to give him six weeks’ box rest.
“Cheltenham is definitely out and, with the ground possibly drying out at Punchestown, we’ll have to make a decision before then as to whether it’s worthwhile or not to go there.”
Sitting as a healthy 5-1 favourite at Bet365 prior to the decision and announcement, Solwhit followed up his memorable victory last year with a stunning Liverpool Hurdle triumph and tight second to Gemix at Auteuil.
“He will definitely be back next year. It’s a sickener but that’s the way it is and we are over it now” Byrnes concluded.
Bet365 is currently displaying the best odds for the 2014 Ladbrokes World Hurdle, in which Big Bucks is now clear favourite at 5-2.
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