Finian’s Oscar ruled out of Cheltenham Festival

Finian's Oscar: Aintree now the aim for promising gelding

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Finian's Oscar ruled out of Cheltenham Festival By David carr 11:48AM 11 MAR 2017

COLIN TIZZARD'S Cheltenham hopes suffered another blow on Saturday when he was forced to rule Finian's Oscar out of the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.

But the trainer, who had to scratch one-time Gold Cup favourite Thistlecrack from the festival last month due to a tendon injury, hopes the unbeaten five-year-old will be fit for the Grand National meeting at Aintree in April.

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"Unfortunately Finian's Oscar is going to miss next week," said Tizzard's son and assistant Joe. "He's got a bruised foot. It's annoying but he's a young horse and we hope he'll be fine for Aintree.

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"It's just come at the wrong time for Cheltenham, any earlier and he'd have been all right. He's a young horse with a gorgeous future."

A lovely horse

Finian's Oscar has won all his three races under rules and had been a best-priced 5-1 shot for the Neptune on Saturday morning.

He had made an impressive winning debut in an Irish point-to-point last October and was bought by Ann and Alan Potts for £250,000 at the Cheltenham sale the following month to join Tizzard.

The gelding, from the family of Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Finian's Rainbow, gained his biggest success in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown in January.

His trainer has not hidden the regard he has for Finian's Oscar and said in a Racing Post Q & A published on Friday: "This one is a lovely horse and we won't find out how good he is until we've really tested him.

"The Tolworth Hurdle form is falling apart a little bit but he can only beat what's in front of him and we'll find out how he compares with our best ones when he runs in the Neptune."

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