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Backstage barred from Foxhunter

Ante-post favourite Backstage is not qualified to run in the Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Prolific between the flags, the Gordon Elliott-trained 10-year-old finished 10th in the Grand National last season, but has had the Cheltenham race as his aim all season.

However, connections have discovered Backstage is not eligible for the amateur jockeys' Gold Cup as the prize-money he earned in 2009 exceeds the threshold of what is permissible for entry.

Elliott said: "We've been told that he won £11,000 too much a few years ago, yet in six weeks he would have qualified - it's very disappointing.

"It's a blow, but we've put him in a few of the handicaps so he might run in one of those."


From Belfast Telegraph