Irving ruled out of Betfair Hurdle

  • Last Updated: February 6 2014, 11:45 GMT

Irving will not run in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday.

Irving: Misses Newbury
Irving: Misses Newbury

The former market leader, also a leading contender for Cheltenham Festival honours, is unbeaten in three starts for Paul Nicholls, including the Grade Two Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle at Ascot.

But Nicholls had warned his participation was not guaranteed at a press day on Monday due to the prospect of very heavy ground.

Far West, in the same Axom ownership, was on standby, and Nicholls tweeted on Wednesday evening: "Due to heavy ground Irving is a non runner Saturday @newbury. Far West will run instead."

Nicholls is also expected to be represented by current favourite Irish Saint.

Irving is a general third favourite for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30