Alan King's nine year old Messire Des Obeuax has been rejuvenated over fences this term and although taking out the Grade Two Dipper Novices' Chase at Wincanton last time out, will not be heading to the Cheltenham festival says his trainer.
Messire Des Obeaux was a horse with bags of potential back in 2016/17 over hurdles winning the Grade Two Winter Novices Hurdle at Sandown and then backing that up at Newbury with the Grade One Challow Novices' Hurdle.
He then went to the Cheltenham festival in 2017 where he finished a good third behind Willoughy Court and Neon Wolf in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle.
The gelding was a horse with a huge future but was not seen for almost three years after picking up a sequence of injuries and returned in February at Huntingdon when finishing a fair fourth after so long off.
King decided to send him chasing and he made his return at Wincanton on debut and he managed to get off the mark in a decent Handicap Chase over 2m4f.
Going back to Wincanton last time out he was a superb and slightly shock winner of the Dipper that was rearranged at Wincanton, but instead of targeting the Cheltenham festival, the gelding will instead be going to Sandown for the Grade One Scilly Isles Novices' Chase.
The Barbury Castle handler is extremely reluctant to risk aggravating an old injury by running his charge on an undulating ground that he would be taking on at the festival.
(Credit ATR) He said: “Messire is grand and will go for the Scilly Isles (on February 6), which has always been the plan since his last run.
“Touch wood he’s fine, but I won’t even enter him for Cheltenham. I would be concerned he might be vulnerable to a recurrence of his problem running on an undulating course.”