Benbulben misses Cheltenham

Mount Benbulben has suffered a setback that has ruled him out of the Cheltenham Festival.

Owner Barry Connell revealed the Gordon Elliott-trained nine-year-old, a Grade One novice chase winner at the Punchestown Festival last April, had sustained a splint bone fracture which may be enough to keep him out for the rest of the season.

Connections had considered supplementing Mount Benbulben for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, although he held entries in the Ryanair Chase and the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, before the injury surfaced.

"He has a fracture of his splint bone. It's not a major issue, but he'll be out of action for a little while," said Connell.

"It's too early to say if he'll run again this season. He's gone down to be examined. It's nothing too serious, he should definitely be back for next season anyway."