Santini suffers another pre-Cheltenham scare

Santini and Nico de Boinville win at Newbury
Image: Santini - met with further setback

Nicky Henderson has met with a setback in his efforts to get leading RSA Insurance Novices' Chase Santini to the Cheltenham Festival next week.

The seven-year-old went for a racecourse gallop at Newbury on Sunday, but he pulled off a shoe in the process and Henderson described him as lame and sore on Tuesday.

The Seven Barrows handler was much more upbeat 24 hours later, posting a video of the seven-year-old trotting on the gallops and reporting all back on course for Wednesday.

But he said in his blog for Unibet on Friday that the issue had "reared its ugly head again".

He explained: "With regards to Santini, everybody saw the video I posted on my Twitter on Wednesday and after two very good days we thought everything was fine and we were through it, but unfortunately he wasn't as good this morning and the issue has reared its ugly again so we've had to remove the shoe and put a poultice back on his foot.

"It is 100 per cent the foot, and absolutely nothing else, but because we've had to continue riding him it's obviously jigged it up again which has not helped.

"It's a very common issue and in any normal circumstance, you'd give them a few days off to allow the foot to heal and then carry on, but because we are in a race against time with four/five days to go we've had to crack on which has led us back here.

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"I think we are better than going back to square one and I'm hoping the poultice does its job as I really did think we'd seen the end of the problem, but we obviously haven't.

"The team are doing their very best and I am still hopeful that we will get there in time."

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