Fethard an end of season player

Trainer Billy Treacy is hopeful he will have his stable star Fethard Player back in action before the end of the season.

Fethard Player chases home Superb Story in the County

The nine-year-old won a valuable handicap at Down Royal in October of last year before sitting out the winter, after which he ran a fantastic race to fill the runner-up spot in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

He rounded off his campaign by finishing fourth behind Vroum Vroum Mag, Identity Thief and My Tent Or Yours in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle, but he has been sidelined by injury since.

Treacy said: "He is on the way back after injury. He injured a check ligament.

"We just had to rest him and he was looked after by Ger Kelly in the Equine Hospital. He was sore in the evening after his run at Cheltenham, but it was after his run against Vroum Vroum Mag that we discovered it.

"He is back cantering now again. He is a spring time horse really so we are not in any hurry with him, we'll give him all the time that he wants. Hopefully he'll be okay, the signs are good at the minute anyway.

"We'd hope to have him back for the spring. I don't like making plans for fear I'd be tempting fate.

"He schooled over fences and he was very good even though he is only a handy horse. We might go the chase route if we have to.

"He has gone high in the handicap and he is not really a Grade One horse. We'll wait and see what pans out. I'd prefer not to go the chase route, but it's an option.

"He is rising 10 years of age, and we have to give him the time he needs. If we don't give him the time now, and he damages it again, it's over. It would take too long to get him back and I'd retire him.

"We are delighted with him at moment anyway and so are the vets."

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