The Storyteller: will not run in the Martin Pipe for Gordon Elliott
PICTURE:Caroline Norris (racingpost.com/photos)
By Jon Lees 5:55PM 11 MAR 2017
GORDON ELLIOTT was forced to rule out another live hope from his Cheltenham Festival team on Saturday after The Storyteller suffered a setback.
The six-year-old has won his last two starts over jumps and was ante-post favourite for the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle.
Elliott reported on his Betfair blog: ”Unfortunately The Storyteller pulled a muscle while exercising this morning and will not make it to the festival.”
The news broke 24 hours after the trainer was forced to scratch Don Poli from the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup. The Gigginstown House Stud owned chaser had finished third in last year’s Gold Cup but will not run again this season.
Don Poli was a two-time festival winner who had made his first breakthrough in the Martin Pipe, the race The Storyteller was due to contest.
The Storyteller was a top-priced 9-2 for the Martin Pipe from the JP McManus-owned No Comment and the Willie Mullins-trained Battleford, who he had beaten by nine lengths at Thurles in January.
Elliott was not alone in having to rule out Cheltenham Festival contenders on Saturday, with Finian’s Oscar missing the Neptune through injury.
A dirty scope means Zabana will not be running in the Ryanair for Andrew Lynch, while Urgent De Gregaine, will not run in the Glenfarclas Chase for French trainer Emmanuel Clayeux.