Festival heartbreak for hero Vic's Ulster owners
Killultagh Vic still has enough time on his side to come back stronger next season after his Ulster owners suffered Cheltenham Festival heartache.
The seven-year-old will miss jump racing's showpiece - and probably the rest of the season - after suffering a suspensory injury, possibly stemming from last month's spectacular victory at Leopardstown.
On that occasion Vic, ridden by the great Ruby Walsh, was leading the 'Money Back On Fallers' At Coral.ie Novice Chase approaching the final fence.
The 2-7 favourite appeared to jump well but his front two legs gave way on landing, and then his back two did the same.
Somehow Walsh stayed on board and Vic regained his feet to continue racing.
In those few dramatic seconds, Blair Perrone and Lord Scoundrel had galloped past.
But Vic - owned by a syndicate headed by Rose Boyd from Crossgar, who also part owns the great Hurricane Fly - rallied superbly and battled back to win.
Vic was then installed as 2-1 favourite for the JLT Novices Chase at the Festival.
Bred at Rademon Estate, Co Down by Rose's husband Frank Boyd, Vic helped make history last year when winning the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle, giving champion trainer Willie Mullins a record eight winners at a Cheltenham Festival. Mullins said last night: "He seemed fine after Leopardstown but when we stepped up his work we discovered a suspensory problem.
"We don't know whether what happened at Leopardstown caused the injury or whether it was something that happened since.
"Unfortunately he's out of Cheltenham and it's unlikely that he will run again this season," he added.
Vic went on to achieve Grade One success at the Punchestown Festival. He won by 15 lengths on his debut over fences at Fairyhouse in December before achieving his dramatic victory at Leopardstown on January 17.