Setback scuppers Cheltenham run for Ronald Pump

Punchestown

Matthew Smith hoping for Punchestown return.

Ronald Pump has suffered a setback which has ruled him out of the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Trainer Matthew Smith reports it is not serious and is optimistic his stable star will be back in action at the Punchestown Festival at the end of April.

“He’s thrown a splint. It’s going to set him back a few weeks,” said the County Meath handler.

“He did a piece of work last week and was in great form. He’s fit so we’re hoping, fingers crossed, he’ll make it to Punchestown.

“Thankfully it’s nothing serious. He’ll just need a few quiet weeks.”

Ronald Pump, who was beaten just half a length by Honeysuckle in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle back in November, was as low as 12-1 for the Stayers’ Hurdle on March 18.

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