Colin Tizzard’s 10-year-old looked a potential superstar when winning the 2016 King George VI Chase under Tom Scudamore, but a tendon injury sustained last February saw him miss the 2017 Gold Cup and kept him out of action until December.
A lacklustre return over hurdles was followed by a fourth-place finish on his return to Kempton in the King George on Boxing Day.
“He was a little bit stiff behind after the King George and he’s been off and had X-rays and bone scans – it’s gutting,” said the trainer’s daughter Kim.
“He ran a screamer. He jumped really well and we were getting excited that the old Thistlecrack was still there.
“We were going for the Gold Cup – we’re gutted.
“Hopefully he’ll have his box rest and come back next season.
“We’re gutted for the team, the owners, everyone.
“We’ve still got a horse, at the end of the day.”