Paul Nicholls leading Gold Cup star Topofthegame has once again been ruled out of the jumps season after the handler has announced that the gelding has suffered a leg injury ahead of his intended run in the Ladbrokes Trophy.
Topofthegame is the apple of Nicholls' eye and after suffering a season ending injury he has not be seen since finishing second at Aintree in the Grade One Mildmay Novices' Chase.
He was set for the Gold Cup last term after landing the RSA Chase at Cheltenham in 2019, but those plans had been diverted for this season, with the long term gain being the eight year old to run in the Cheltenham feature.
In the lead up to the 2021 feature contest at Prestbury Park, Nicholls had explained that the eight year old was going to the Ladbrokes Trophy, however with preparations stepping up for the Grade Three event at Newbury he has been halted by a leg injury.
(Credit ATR) “I’ve scratched him from the Betfair (Chase) and Ladbrokes Trophy as I’ve just had to draw stumps for the season with him,” said Nicholls on Monday.
“The warning lights have been flashing for the last couple of weeks. I was not happy with him last week and we had the vet scan him today and although there is no tear he just needs more time to recover, so we will leave him for the rest of the season and get him back for next season.
“He had the tendon injury last season and he is still not strong enough to do full training. If we had carried on he would have broken down, but as we have stopped there is a good chance we will get him back for next season.
“We had done everything can, but when the warning lights come on you simply have to stop and after having him scanned this morning it confirmed what myself and Clifford (Baker) thought.”