Simonsig: had been as short as 4-11 for Saturday's 2m1f contestPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Simonsig ruled out of Newbury contest
SIMONSIG, odds-on favourite for the Racing Post Arkle Trophy following two easy wins over fences, will miss the Betfair Super Saturday Chase at Newbury after a trachea wash test was marginally short of 100 per cent, trainer Nicky Henderson announced on Thursday.
Saturday's contest, registered as the Game Spirit Chase, would have played host to Simonsig facing some experienced chasers as he stepped out of novice company for the first time. However, those plans had to be shelved following the results of a routine test.
"Simonsig's trachea wash result today was 95 per cent but we'd only run if it was 100 per cent," revealed Henderson. He added: "Accordingly, we'll give him a week ticking over at home and then make a decision over whether to run before the festival."
Simonsig, a best-priced 5-6 with Coral to add the Arkle to his Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle victory at last year's festival, had been as short as 4-11 for Saturday's 2m1f contest, for which final declarations are revealed on Friday morning.
Read more on Saturday's brilliant card at Newbury in Friday's Racing Post - available first on the iPad from 8pm