Superstar Envoi Allen's flop in the Grade One Punchestown Champion Novice Chase has now been put down to the Cheveley Park Stud owned gelding chipping a joint at some point during the race.
Envoi Allen has been one of the leading jumps horses in the sport over the last two years and having stepped up to go over fences this term, everyone was expecting huge things.
The Cheveley Park stud owned gelding is a dual Cheltenham festival winner having taken the Champion Bumper and Ballymore Novices hurdle in consecutive years and geared his season towards a third straight win at the festival in the Marsh Novices' Chase.
The seven year old has gone from strength to strength in his career landing 12 races in a row in his first 12 events, winning one point to point, four bumpers, four hurdle contests and also extended his winning run last time out in his first Grade One win over fences.
Stepping over the bigger obstacles this season, he was very impressive at Down Royal, jumping his fences superbly and showing his classy travelling ability as he has throughout his career.
He was then stepped up to Grade One company at Fairyhouse in the Drinmore Novice Chase and gave another standout performance to take the event by close to nine lengths.
Next at Punchestown he was looking to make it three from three over fences in a Grade Three event and was giving serious weight away to the rest of the field, but with Asterion Forlonge falling at the first it made for an easier ride round and again he was foot perfect.
With the Gordon Elliott scandal dropping just before the Cheltenham festival he was moved to Henry De Bromhead's yard and has not looked the same horse since that, for whatever reason.
He suffered his first fall of his career at Cheltenham when clipping the top of the fourth fence to the dismay of favourite backers.
Looking to put things right in the Grade One Champion Novice at Punchestown he jumped well below par and was pulled up before the second to last fence.
After a CT scan it has now been revealed that the reason for the poor run was down to the gelding chipping a joint and having also been found to be lame after the race, it now all makes sense to the team looking after him.
(Credit ATR) Cheveley Park’s managing director Chris Richardson said: “From the results of the investigations, it appears he has (chipped a joint).
“If you look at the picture of him taking off about a furlong before the second fence, it was the most unbelievable leap.
“Rachael obviously did the right thing by pulling him up. You could see that she had one tight rein and one loose rein, so things weren’t as expected.”