Shropshire trainer Henry Daly’s best start to a National Hunt season has been marred by a serious injury that may have ended the career of one of his stable stars.
Quentin Collonges, who was a contender to run in the Grand National in April, badly damaged a tendon during his last outing at Cheltenham.
Daly hopes that the horse will make a good recovery, but thinks it is unlikely he will be seen on a racecourse again.
The grey, owned by Cheltenham-based Neville Statham and his family, is a talented stayer and excellent jumper and gave Daly a brilliant finale to last season by winning Doncaster’s Grimthorpe Chase and the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.
“He has ruptured a tendon and I think it would be highly unlikely that he will race again, but he should recover from it,” said the Ludlow handler.
“It doesn't matter if it is a selling plater or a really nice horse, this sort of thing is always a massive disappointment. It is part of the sport, and the biggest downside of it.”
The blow has taken the gloss off Daly’s flying start to the campaign, which has already brought him 26 winners.
“The horses are running exceptionally well,” said Daly. “We are having a good season, but unfortunately a by-product of that is that injuries do occur. It is just a fact of life.”