Simonsig has been ruled out for the season
Last Updated: 20/12/13 4:36pm
Simonsig: Out for the season
Nicky Henderson has been forced to rule Arkle Trophy hero Simonsig out for the season.
A winner at the last two Cheltenham Festivals, having landed the Neptune Novices' Hurdle in 2012, the grey met with a setback earlier in this campaign but was expected to be back in time for the major races in the spring.
However, Henderson has now revealed that will not be the case.
"We've got to the point to make a decision to finish for the season," said Henderson.
"He's sound and will be in general exercise, hopefully he'll be ready for the King George next year."
Considered one of the most exciting chasers in training, Simonsig is unbeaten in three starts over the larger obstacles, having scored at Ascot and Kempton, prior to his Arkle win last term.
His frustrated trainer explained to the Racing Post: "It's all to do with a splint that flared up earlier on and that's why we took out the earlier part of the season.
"The fracture line on the splint has gone and he's sound but there's too much of a risk involved.
"A lot of experts have been staring at x-rays and it's healed but there is a risk something could go so we are going to keep him in light exercise until the spring, turn him out in the summer and bring him back ready for next year.
"In my experience this is an injury that doesn't happen very often. Thousands of horses have splints without a problem and it's typical that it is him that gets it.
"It could easily be perfectly all right but we don't want to take the risk."