Glen Forsa went off as the Racing Post Arkle Trophy favourite at the Cheltenham Festival but with not even a circuit of the course ran he unseated his rider to the disappointment of punters, connections and his trainer Mick Channon.
The seven year old headed into the Cheltenham festival with some great form, landing a hat-trick in the rearranged Grade 2 Kingmaker Novices Chase at Sandown beating the Arkle fancy at the time, Kalashnikov in a dominant display.
Before that race he was 40/1 and after the rout, went into a much shorter 9/1. He officially went off at 7/2 favourite and for many was a banker on the first day at Prestbury Park.
However, as it was for the punters on day one, the unthinkable happened and Glen Forsa at the fourth fence of the race unseated his rider Jonathan Burke for the first time in his racing career.
Trainer Mick Channon has reported that the gelding has came out of that mishap really well and is set to get back on track with his sparkling season at Aintree with him being lined back up for a step up in trip in the Manifesto Novices’ Chase at on April 4th.
(Credit At The Races) Channon said: “Everything seems all right with him – and all being well, he’ll go to Liverpool for the two-and-a-half-mile race.
“It was disappointing, but that’s jumps racing for you. He just screwed in the air a bit – and that was that.”
It proved to be a disappointing afternoon for the ex footballer, with Mister Whitaker, another fancy on the Tuesday who won the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase at last year’s Festival, has to be pulled up when co-favourite for the Ultima Handicap Chase.
“He didn’t jump well on that dead ground,”
Channon added.“We’ve not made any plans for him yet. He came back with quite a nasty cut, so we’ll see how he is in the next week or so.”
Channon is becoming a much bigger trainer across both the jumps and the flat gaining more and more quality horses and although not having a winner at Cheltenham this season the Aintree Grand National Festival looks like a big chance to get back on track.
The trainer will also have one eye on the upcoming flat season with plenty of young runners ready to be unleashed and hopefully he can pick up a Group 1 winner during the season.