Nicky Henderson's Marie's Rock who was the Mares Novices Hurdle favourite for the Cheltenham festival has been ruled out for the season after picking up an injury in training.
The five year old owned by the Middleham Park Racing Group has been nudged in the betting constantly since her first run over hurdles at Haydock where she showed an extensive turn of foot to put a decent race to bed.
She was then stepped up to a Listed Mares Hurdle at Taunton which would see her take on her toughest opponents yet and she brushed them aside again looking like a very bright recruit for the Seven Barrows yard.
The market support flooded in and she crept into 5/1 joint favourite at stages over the last week but today Henderson announced that she will miss the festival and also the rest of the season after suffering a stress fracture.
(Credit At The Races) Henderson said: “She’s not going to make it (to Cheltenham), I’m afraid.
“We’d just had a little problem, and unfortunately she’s got a little stress fracture – which we found as a result of an MRI scan.
“She’ll be perfectly fine for next year, but unfortunately it rules her out of this season.
“It’s very frustrating.”
The trainer later added that he will still have a runner in the contest with Floressa is still on course for the same race.