Structure Hill will miss the Unibet Worldwide Hurdle at Cheltenham this month after an unsatisfactory scope, coach Nicky Henderson has confirmed.
The reigning champion hurdler made a profitable reappearance within the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day, when he prolonged his unbeaten run to eight with the minimal of fuss.
Henderson had raised the prospect of a second outing earlier than his Cheltenham Pageant date in March, with the Unibet Worldwide Hurdle – rescheduled from the December assembly to Trials day on January 27 – an possibility.
Nevertheless, a minor challenge has put paid to that risk, with the Seven Barrows coach now plotting a direct course to his Champion Hurdle defence on March 12, for which he’s the lengthy odds-on favorite.
Henderson posted on X: “We’ve reluctantly determined that Structure Hill will not be capable to run within the Unibet Hurdle at Cheltenham on the finish of subsequent week.
“A routine scope final week wasn’t solely passable and a follow-up this morning reveals the difficulty hasn’t resolved and due to this fact there wouldn’t be time to get him prepared for subsequent week.
“Within the meantime he’ll proceed with mild train, be re-scoped in a fortnight’s time after which begin his preparation for March.
“Each Michael and I and all of the staff had very a lot hoped for a greater end result this morning in order that we may run on Saturday week however within the horse’s and certainly all people’s pursuits, it might be silly to take action and this doesn’t impact any future plans.”