Havingotascoobydo has been ruled out of the Centenary Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival with a back injury that he picked up in training.

The Martin Keighley-trained seven-year old was at the top end of the market for the 2m4f contest on day one of the Festival after a respectable second place finish at Sandown on his latest run in January. Even those looking ahead to the Cheltenham Gold Cup will have been impressed.

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Ackertac is now one of the favourites for the prize following Havingotascoobydo’s withdrawal. The seven year-old has been consistent this season in which he has finished in the placings in his last four starts. At the Festival last year he ran in a competitively contested Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle where he finished sixth in the race won by Bobs Worth.

One of the most in-form contenders for the Centenary Novices’ Chase this year is the French bred Triolo D’Alene who has won all three of his last three races. Nicky Henderson’s novice chaser made his debut in this country in January at Ascot where he won by just over two lengths when ridden by Barry Geraghty. Those looking for horse racing tips will have been keeping an eye on him.

It is unclear at this stage whether Micheal Flips will run in the Centenary Novices’ Chase or the Jewson Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March. The eight-year old has had plenty of experience over fences, with two wins coming from his seven starts. His latest success came at Taunton last month when scoring by less than a length ahead of The Cockney Mackem over the trip of 2m3f. He tried to follow that up on Friday in the Betfair Novices’ Chase where he finished second behind For Non Stop.

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