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Cheltenham: Mulholland ‘gutted’ for Costello

By Frank Brownlow

Trainer Neil Mulholland last night said he was “gutted” for jockey Dougie Costello who has been ruled out of the Cheltenham Festival - which starts today - due to a leg injury suffered in a fall at Stratford yesterday.

Mulholland — originally from Glenavy and a former jockey himself — trains Midnight Chase, an outsider for Friday’s Gold Cup.

Costello had been booked for the ride on Midnight Chase but his fall from Veiled Applause three flights from home in the Nicholls Handicap Hurdle saw him taken to Warwick Hospital and ruled out of the Festival.

Mulholland said: “I’m gutted for Dougie. I'm not going to make any decisions.

“It's a long way between now and Friday and it's something that has to be very carefully thought about.

“The horse is perfect. Dougie came down and schooled him and we were all very happy with him,” he added.

Costello had also been due to partner leading fancy Recession Proof in today's curtain-raiser, the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, while his mounts later in the week included Wayward Prince in the RSA Chase. John Quinn, trainer of faller Veiled Applause and Recession Proof, had earlier saddled a winner at Stratford, with Costello guiding Palawi to victory in the juvenile hurdle.

“They are fairly sure he has suffered at least one serious fracture to a part of his leg, if not two,” said Quinn.

“It’s terrible news,” added a distressed Quinn.

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