top chaser Seeyouatmidnight will miss Wetherby’s feature Rowland Meyrick Chase on Boxing Day, trainer Sandy Thomson has confirmed.
The horse, victorious at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day under North Yorkshire’s Brian Hughes, is recovering from a bruised foot picked up in Haydock’s Betfair Chase last month.
“We’ve just not quite got him sound yet. I think we’ve identified the problem and it looks like Kelso in the middle of January is where we’ll be heading with him,” said Berwickshire-based Thomson.
“We thought he only had a bruised foot. We got that sorted out and got him back into work and there was something else niggling him as well. Hopefully we’ll get it all sorted out. We certainly won’t make the Rowland Meyrick.”
A tilt at the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown is under consideration for Grand National hero Many Clouds.
Oliver Sherwood’s stable star claimed the Aintree spectacular in 2015, but disappointed in April when attempting to become the first back-to-back winner since the great Red Rum.
After a summer wind operation, Leighton Aspell’s mount made a flying start to the new campaign when winning at Aintree earlier this month.
While a third National bid remains high on his agenda, he could seek a first Grade One success in Ireland on December 28.
“I’m absolutely delighted with him. He came out of the race at Aintree as well as he’s come out of any race he’s ever run in,” said Sherwood. “We’ll see what else is confirmed for the Lexus, but we’re training him as if he’s going to run.”
Dual Group One winner Quiet Reflection was confirmed – as expected – as the 2016 horse of the year at the Go Racing In Yorkshire annual awards. The prize caps a memorable year for the Ontoawinner syndicate of ever enthusiastic owners, Leyburn trainer Karl Burke, jockey Dougie Costello and work rider Jordan Vaughan.