Allaho out of the Cheltenham Festival

Setback for Dual Ryanair Chase Winner Following Triumph at Thurles

Dual Ryanair Chase Winner Allaho will miss this years Cheltenham Festival.
Dual Ryanair Chase Winner Allaho will miss this years Cheltenham Festival.

Two-time Ryanair Chase champion Allaho will not compete in this year's Cheltenham Festival due to an injury sustained during a victory at Thurles last Sunday. Allaho, who triumphed in the Ryanair Chase in both 2021 and 2022, had to skip the race the previous year due to a unique abdominal issue. However, he made a comeback after a 561-day hiatus, clinching a win at Clonmel in November.

Following a third-place finish in the King George at Kempton during the Christmas season, Allaho outperformed his stablemate from the Willie Mullins team, Stattler, by 13 lengths in the Grade 2 Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase at Thurles. He was the leading contender for a third Ryanair Chase victory, with odds of 5-2, until his recent injury.

In light of this development, bookmakers have now positioned Banbridge as the top pick for the Ryanair Chase, with bet365 offering odds of 3-1. You can follow all the latest entries, odds and tips for the Ryan Chase here.

Chris Richardson, the racing manager for Allaho's owners at Cheveley Park Stud, shared with the Racing Post: "Post-race, Allaho was discovered to be limping, which turned out to be a strained hock. He will require a rest and recovery period, unfortunately ruling him out of the Cheltenham Festival. There's hope for his return at Punchestown in April, but further assessments are in progress.

"The setback is disheartening, especially after his impressive performance at Thurles and the renewed optimism following the King George race. Returning to his preferred distance of two and a half miles had raised our hopes, but patience is key as he continues to be a strong contender in future races."

Allaho, aside from his Cheltenham Festival successes, notably won the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup in 2022. He has achieved ten victories in 20 races, earning nearly £800,000 in prize money.