The Gary Moore trained Goshen is said to be 'absolutely fine' after his below par run in the Grade Two International Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday even though he was found to be suffering from a fibrillating heart following the run.
Goshen was a model of consistency during the jumps season last term and raced three four times over timber and going on to win his three events by a combined 68 lengths before his dreaded fall at the Cheltenham festival in the Triumph Hurdle being 10 lengths clear facing the last flight.
Since then he has not been the same horse racing twice on the flat and with the yard looking to exploit his mark of 88 it did not quite pan out with two lesser runs, which saw him beat easily in both events.
After bypassing some big events like the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton, Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and Ascot Hurdle, Moore needed to get his stable star going for the season and he chose the International on Saturday.
However, it now looked to have been the wrong decision with Goshen going on to finish last of the 10 runner field and looking a shadow of the horse that almost bolted up in the Triumph hurdle at last seasons festival.
Speaking on Racing TV’s Luck On Sunday programme, Moore said: “He’s absolutely fine. He ate up last night and has been out for an hour this morning – he seems quite happy.
“My vet is coming in to check him out. I’ve been training a long time and this is the third or fourth time that it’s happened to me.
“I think you just give them a bit of time. You wouldn’t know there was a problem this morning.”
Whilst the lesser performance of Goshen was mainly down to his heart problem, his handler also believed that he did not have the greatest preparation into the race and with three of the eight hurdles that were omitted on the day making the race a mess.
He added: “It was a mess of a race. The first two hurdles were gone and the horse was over-racing. There was a lot of disappointment yesterday, but we learnt one thing – don’t restrain the horse, let him use his stride and let him get on with it.
“I think he gets claustrophobic and doesn’t want to be right amongst horses – he doesn’t like being crowded. We tried to hold him up and it was the wrong thing to do.
“We’ll take it a day at a time. He didn’t have a great preparation going into Saturday – he’s had niggly problems all the way through. I think he might have needed the race – it was like his first run of the season as far as I’m concerned.
“I’ll see how he is in the next few days and how this heart issue is, but we won’t write him off for the season, definitely not.“He’s very special and has his own way of doing things.”