Ready Eddie is unlikely to defend his Grand National Hurdles title this year.
The Yamanin Vital gelding pulled up lame after he won the 2017 edition, and while he is back in work, the Riccarton carnival may come around too soon.
“He’s done plenty of miles, but with a tendon injury they are day to day,” said Stephen Nickalls, whose partner Laura Knight trains the nine-year-old. “He might be out at the end of the winter.”
It’s a similar scenario for the Nickalls-trained The Oysterman, winner of last season’s Wellington Steeplechase.
“He’s had a bit of a setback, he got dandelion poisoning,” he said. “All the vets tell me he’ll be fine in time.”
The Oysterman finished fourth in the Great Northern Steeplechase to close out his last campaign.