Big clash off as injured Don Cossack misses Punchestown

Don Cossack (Brian Cooper) wins the Gold Cup

Don Cossack: Cheltenham hero has suffered a tendon injury

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP champion Don Cossack will miss the Punchestown festival after suffering a tendon injury.

The Gordon Elliott-trained nine-year-old had been due to run in the Bibby Financial Services Ireland Punchestown Gold Cup on Wednesday in a hotly-anticipated clash with Cue Card.

Speaking to the Racing Post, Elliott said: “We noticed Don Cossack wasn’t right when he was coming off the gallops this morning. He has suffered a tendon injury and is definitely out of Punchestown.

“I’ll be discussing the situation with [owners] Michael and Eddie O’Leary who were informed immediately.”

Don Cossack’s absence means what had been touted as a three-way clash of the titans with Cue Card and Vautour is now missing two of the original cast, as Vautour was on Sunday declared for the BoyleSports Champion Chase over two miles.

It also means the wait for a conclusive clash between Don Cossack and Cue Card goes on. The pair have met twice, first in the King George when Don Cossack fell at the second last and Cue Card won, then again in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham when Cue Card fell three out.

In revised Punchestown betting, Cue Card is no bigger than 4-7 favourite with Djakadam and Don Poli – second and third behind Don Cossack at Cheltenham – next in the market at 6-1.

 

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