Cheltenham: Jimmy Nesbitt’s Riverside Theatre will be a no show
Ulster actor Jimmy Nesbitt’s Riverside Theatre has been ruled out of the Cheltenham Festival’s Ryanair Chase with a hairline fracture to his pelvis.
Trainer Nicky Henderson's seven-year-old was the general second favourite for the Festival showdown after winning the Ascot Chase last month.
He also finished second to stablemate Long Run in the rescheduled King George VI Chase at Kempton in January.
Henderson nonetheless remains confident Riverside Theatre will make a complete recovery.
He said: “Riverside was lame after exercise on Friday and, as a result, we found he had suffered a hairline fracture to his pelvis.
“Although we hoped the problem was muscular, a scan revealed that to be not the case.
“He's lucky this has been revealed, rather than anything more serious, as the consequences would have been bad.
“I have spoken to the vets and we are confident he'll be perfectly fine for next season.
“It's still an enormous shame as he was having a most promising season.
“He's still young, though, and will hopefully have a huge career.”
Meanwhile, Henry de Bromhead feels positive tactics could strengthen Sizing Europe's chances of success in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
De Bromhead said: “He's really coming into himself. The faster we go in the first mile, the better for him — he could have them all off the bridle coming down the hill like he did in the Arkle.”