Multiple Grade One winner Faugheen is out of next week's Punchestown Festival.
The 11-year-old was pulled up in the Aintree Hurdle earlier this month with a heart issue and trainer Willie Mullins says Faugheen will now have an extended summer break.
"Unfortunately we withdrew #Faugheen from @punchestownrace this morning and he will now go on an early summer break."
Faugheen, winner of the 2015 Champion Hurdle, hasn't endured a winless season.
Unfortunately we withdrew #Faugheen from @punchestownrace this morning and he will now go on an early summer break
— Willie Mullins (@WillieMullinsNH) April 25, 2019
While Mullins holds a strong hand in the Coral Punchestown Gold Cup with Al Boum Photo and Kemboy heading the twelve-strong field that stood their ground following the latest forfeit stage this afternoon.
"They could be potentially joined by stable companions Bellshill, Pairofbrowneyes and Yorkhill. The Henry de Bromhead-trained Monalee is another set to line up in the €300,000 contest with Brian Ellison's Definitly Red also included.
"They are all on course at the moment," reported Mullins. "Al Boum Photo and Kemboy are well. It would be hard to pull Paul (Townend) off Al Boum Photo I would imagine, and I would say Ruby will ride Kemboy.
"We had some nice winners at Fairyhouse and I'm very happy with how the horses are running at the moment and I just hope we can keep that sort of form going into Punchestown. A lot of my horses have had light campaigns this year so I will be keen to run them where I can at Punchestown and it is always a very important meeting for us."
Douvan has missed the entire season so far but could return in Tuesday's BoyleSports Champion Chase, for which he is one of twelve horses remaining. Mullins has also left Footpad, Great Field, Min and last years winner Un De Sceaux in that Grade 1 feature on the opening evening.
Dan Skelton's impressive Aintree winner Aux Ptis Soins is one of over fifty British-trained entries across the opening three days of the Punchestown Festival. Aux Ptits Son may line up in the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle on Thursday, a race which could also see Apple's Jade and Laurina meet for the first time as they have also stood their ground in the twenty-one strong line-up.