Cossack sidesteps Cheltenham Festival

Don Cossack will not line up at the Cheltenham Festival after finishing only third at Naas last Sunday.

The six-year-old was a top bumper horse last term but has won just one of his four starts over hurdles this term, finishing well adrift of Annie Power and Defy Logic in a Grade Two heat most recently.

Trainer Gordon Elliott had entered him for both the William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival, but he will miss those engagements and wait for targets later in the spring.

Elliott told his Betfair column: “He came out of the race at Naas on Sunday in good shape, and he’s been doing well since then.

“He was beaten by two improving horses on the day, and the winner looks an exceptional mare.

“In regards to future plans, Cheltenham is now off the agenda and we will look at bringing him to Fairyhouse or Punchestown instead, as there are some nice races there for him too.”

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