Philip Hobbs has admitted defeat in the race to get Fingal Bay to the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
The unbeaten six-year-old suffered a setback last week and while the injury is only minor, it has come at the wrong time of the season.
Having been ante-post favourite for the race for most of the season, the news is another blow for punters on the back of the likes of Grandouet and Minsk being ruled out of their respective targets in recent days.
“Unfortunately time has beaten us and Fingal Bay won’t make Cheltenham,” said Hobbs.
“Thankfully, it is not a serious problem which is the silver lining as we’ll have him for Aintree and Punchestown.
“He just needs another week which we haven’t got.”