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Blow for Hobbs as Fingal Bay Suffers Injury

The Philip Hobbs stable has been dealt a big blow with the news that the smart novice chase prospect, Fingal Bay, will miss the rest of the campaign after sustaining a tendon injury, writes Elliot Slater.

Fingal Bay
© Racehorse Photos

Fingal Bay

One of the very best staying novice hurdlers last season, the gelded son of King’s Theatre had been expected to bid for his share of top novice prizes over fences this campaign and made a satisfactory start to his chasing career when runner-up to the very useful Dynaste in the prestigious Steel Plate & Sections Novices Chase at Cheltenham’s November meeting.

On the back of that effort, the six-year-old was sent off a prohibitive 1/12 favourite in the horse racing odds for the three-runner Harry Dutfield Memorial Novices Chase at Exeter earlier in the month, but didn’t jump at all well and was constantly diving out to his left.

Despite that worrying sign, Richard Johnson’s mount still appeared to be in control coming to the third last when he suddenly ducked out and crashed through the wing, handing the race to his nearest market rival on horseracing tips pages, Chartreux.

In hindsight, it would appear that Fingal Bay, who at one time had been as short as 10/1 in the ante-post list for the Grade 1 RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, may well have been feeling the injury that has subsequently come to light.

However, Hobbs is optimistic that with complete rest and treatment the winner of the 2011 Grade 1 Bathwick Tyres Challow Novices Hurdle will be back next term.

As well as his win at Newbury, Fingal Bay scored at Chepstow, Cheltenham, and Sandown in Grade 2 company as a novice hurdler, but was forced to miss the Cheltenham Festival with a minor setback before finishing a close second to Lovcen in the Grade 1 John Smith’s Sefton Novices Hurdle at Aintree on his final start of the season.

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