Getabird blow for Willie Mullins

Getabird, ante-post favourite for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at next month's Cheltenham Festival, is set to miss the showpiece meeting and potentially the rest of the season after suffering a setback.

Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci have suffered another setback

The Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old made a successful debut under Rules at Fairyhouse in November and followed up with a more workmanlike success at Gowran Park last month.

The son of Getaway was as short as 4/1 for his intended assignment at Prestbury Park, but is highly unlikely to make the trip across the Irish Sea.

Joe Chambers, racing manager for owners Rich and Susannah Ricci, said: "It's highly unlikely he'll make Cheltenham and he's more than likely out for the season. He's sore behind, unfortunately.

"It may have happened as a result of or during his win at Gowran.

"It's a bad prognosis in terms of Cheltenham as opposed to his racing career."

The news comes as yet another blow for Mullins and Ricci this season following the sad loss of brilliant chaser Vautour and the recent Festival defections of the last two winners of the Champion Hurdle, Faugheen and Annie Power, as well as leading Arkle Trophy contender Min.

"It's been tough. Everyone can say it's part of the game and it happens to everybody, but it feels as though we've had a relentless torrent of it in the last couple of weeks," Chambers told Racing UK.

"But we'll crack on, we're lucky enough to have three runners in Grade Ones tomorrow afternoon (at Leopardstown) and we're still lucky enough to have plenty of candidates for Cheltenham itself.

"It is what it is and we've just got to bite our lip and get on with it."

Read More at Sporting Life

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