Setback for National hope See
Becauseicouldntsee faces a race against time to be ready for the John Smith's Grand National after undergoing surgery on a hind leg.
The eight-year-old is due back at Noel Glynn's stables in County Clare from the Fethard Equine Hospital in County Tipperary on Friday and the trainer remains hopeful the horse will make Aintree on April 9.
Becauseicouldntsee sustained the injury when finishing second in the Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas, but the extent of the damage did not come to light for a while.
"He's entered in the Grand National, but he had a problem after the Paddy Power," said Glynn.
"A horse jumped into him and hit his hind leg. We didn't think much of it at first but he had to have an operation on it the other day to have some bone that grew over it taken out.
"It's 50-50 for Aintree at the minute. He's coming home from the hospital and we think we'll make it. We still have eight weeks, so we should get there.
"To look at the injury you wouldn't have given it much thought, but it was the bang that hit the bone and cut off the blood supply to that particular area. It got infected and swelled up and he was lame after five weeks.
"We never missed a day's work with him after the race, but when it flared up we had it X-rayed and it showed a growth of bone over the natural bone. It had to be operated on to get it out.
"He'll have to have a week off when he gets home. We were going to give him a run before the National, but we won't now. If he's fit enough he'll go directly to Aintree."
Becauseicouldntsee was second in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last year and that could be the target of his stablemate Gonebeyondrecall, who has other Festival options or could go to Aintree.