Call kept under wraps

Ireland will have to wait to see if Imperial Call has retained his old magic as the Gold Cup winner was yesterday pulled out of Saturday's Ericsson Chase at Leopardstown.

The seven-year-old's trainer, Fergie Sutherland, said his stable star had not recovered fully from a fall at the final fence when he looked set to win on his seasonal debut at Punchestown earlier this month.

"He suffered some bad bruises at Punchestown. The superficial injuries have cleared up but he is still bruised," Sutherland said.

Imperial Call, a warm favourite to retain the Gold Cup in March, is now expected to have his pre-Cheltenham run in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown in February.

The Christmas meeting will be headlined instead by Danoli, who will be out today to repair some of the damage done to his reputation by a fall at Fairyhouse at the start of the month. Tom Foley, Danoli's trainer, is confident that he has the horse in the right frame of mind and he will need to be if he is to repel the challenges of Jeffell, The Carrig Rua and England's Land Afar in the Denny Gold Medal Chase.

"As far as I am concerned the most important thing is that Danoli jumps well. If we get beaten, even beaten a long way, and he jumps well I'll be happy enough." Foley said. "We've got plenty of schooling into him since he fell at Fairyhouse and he jumped really well when we took him to Gowran Park on Friday. He's really well in himself."

Another of Ireland's Cheltenham heroes, Klairon Davis, faces 11 rivals in the McCain Handicap Chase tomorrow. The winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase will have most to fear from the highly-rated Merry Gale.

On Saturday, in Imperial Call's absence, Dorans Pride could emerge as a serious challenger for the Gold Cup. The former champion stayers' hurdler was extremely impressive when beating Paul Nicholls' See More Business to win the Drinmore Chase at Fairyhouse, the same race in which Danoli was a faller.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Developer - HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, VBA, SQL

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: We are working with one o...

Male Behaviour Support Assistant vacancy in Penarth

£55 - £65 per day + Travel Scheme and Free Training: Randstad Education Cardif...

BA/PM,EMIR/Dodd-Frank,London,£450-650P/D

£450 - £650 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

SEN Learning Support Assistant vacancy in Penarth

£55 - £65 per day + Travel Scheme and Free Training: Randstad Education Cardif...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz