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Moore unsure when Goshen will return after heart issue discovered at Cheltenham

  • Gary Moore spoke to the press about star hurdler Goshen earlier this week
  • Goshen finished last as the favourite in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham on Friday
  • Examinations found he was suffering from a fibrillating heart following his first outing of the season
Goshen trails behind the rest of the field as the runners set out for home in the International Hurdle. (Getty)

All eyes were on Goshen in the build-up to Friday's International Hurdle at Cheltenham. Gary Moore's star hit the headlines in the Triumph Hurdle last season, where he was in the process of securing a tremendous victory until a stumble after the final flight dislodged Jamie Moore from his saddle.

A dirt scope scuppered his first intended reappearance in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton, and Moore decided the day before another prospective outing in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot that he didn't think his juvenile was quite ready for two-and-a-half miles.

Despite those withdrawals, punters still pilled into Goshen in the build-up to the International Hurdle. Yet, it soon became clear that it wasn't going to be Goshen's day.

An exuberant front-runner during his juvenile season, Moore couldn't grab his preferred position at the head of the field, and had to work hard just to help keep Goshen in touch with the leaders. Turning for home, the tank emptied rapidly, and Goshen was seen slipping out the back of the screen as Song For Someone and Silver Streak fought out the victory.

Moore fronted up to the press on Sunday. He revealed that veterinary examinations following the race found a problem, that would account for that lackluster display, but remained confident that Goshen would be back in time for the Cheltenham Festival.

"It was disappointing but he had a fibrillating heart." Moore told the press on Sunday. 

"I don't know what it means for him right now, we're going to have to get a specialist in to check him out and see what it's all about."

Jamie Moore is unseated from Goshen when ten lengths clear at the last hurdle in The JCB Triumph Hurdle on Gold Cup. (Getty)

"We'll take it from there, he seems fine this morning and you wouldn't know he'd had a problem, which is encouraging and I don't see it as a massive disaster.

"There are very few races for him anyway, the obvious one was the Christmas Hurdle but that's going to come too soon, so I'm not sure when he'll run next.

"We'll get him fit and firing first and foremost and then see where we are. The season's backloaded for horses like him with Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown, so there's a long way to go."

"In all the disappointment we learned to let him use his stride and not to restrain him.

"I think he gets claustrophobic and doesn't want to be amongst horses - he doesn't like being crowded. We tried to hold him up and it was the complete wrong thing to do."

Goshen had been a 10/1 shot for the 2021 Champion Hurdle before the International Hurdle. Following the race, sponsors Unibet pushed Moore's stable star right out to 25/1, and it will take a couple of solid performances in the build-up to the 2021 Cheltenham Festival to convince punters that Goshen is still a Champion Hurdle contender.

As a result of Goshen's flop, Unibet shortened Epatante at the head of their 2021 Champion Hurdle betting. The defending champion is now the 5/4 favourite, ahead of Saint Roi and Abacadabras, who both sit on 7/1.

GoshenTo Win The 2021 Champion HurdleGET 25/1 HERE
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