A chipped seal appeared as a viable excuse for Envoi Allen’s disappointing performance at last week’s Punchestown Festival.
Unbeaten in his first 11 legal starts, the Cheveley Park Stud gelding met defeat for the first time after falling during his candidacy for a third victory at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Hopes were high that he could bounce back at his best for a highly anticipated clash with Monkfish in the Novice Chase Championship from insurance group champion Dooley of Punchestown.
However, the charge of Henry de Bromhead struggled very far from home before being finally stopped by Rachael Blackmore, while Monkfish failed to bring back his stable mate Colreevy.
Sending Allen was found lame after the race and a subsequent CT scan at Fethard Equine Hospital revealed the extent of his injury.
Cheveley Park Managing Director Chris Richardson said: “From the results of the investigations it appears he has (chipped a joint).
“If you look at the photo of him taking off about a yard before the second fence, it was the most incredible jump.
“Rachael obviously did the right thing by pulling him up. You could see she had a tight rein and a loose rein so things weren’t as expected.”
The Allen Sending Cheltenham mishap was a rare event at the Festival for the Cheveley Park team, who won with Sir Gerhard, Quilixios and Allaho, and came close to Gold Cup glory with A Plus Tard. .
The Cheltenham winners were beaten at Punchestown, but Richardson added: “All the horses have had a long season and we have had a wonderful Cheltenham.
“They can all go on vacation now and we can look forward to next year.”