Lame Wishes out of Chandler

  • Last Updated: January 26 2013, 14:21 GMT

William's Wishes was a significant non-runner from Saturday's rescheduled Victor Chandler Chase at Cheltenham.

Evan Williams: His William's Wishes misses the Victor Chandler
Evan Williams: His William's Wishes misses the Victor Chandler

Following impressive handicap victories at Ascot and Sandown this season, the Evan Williams-trained eight-year-old was due to step up to Grade One company for the first time and tackle Sprinter Sacre and company at Prestbury Park.

However, the Welsh trainer found his charge to be lame on Saturday morning and has been forced to withdraw him from the extended two-mile contest.

Williams said: "He's lame this morning and I don't know why.

"He's had intermittent lameness in the past, but we're not sure what the problem is at the moment.

"We were just loading him onto the box this morning and he was very lame indeed. I don't know any more than that at this stage.

"The vet hasn't even had a chance to look at him yet, so I had to do a self certificate."

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Henderson said: "I'm glad it's over. I had reservations about running, but we had to run. Barry was worried about the ground, I was worried he was a bit fresh.

"He can handle any ground, I think, and that's what a good horse should be able to do.

"I said to Barry before the race if you do make five lengths in the air then there is point giving it back.

"Barry's confidence in him is unbelievable. He knows you can jump anything with him.

"He's such a gorgeous horse to look at, you would think he would be something special. He knows he is special and I suppose we are all starting to believe he might be."

Sprinter Sacre is now expected to head straight for the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March, for which he is 2-5 favourite with Paddy Power and BetVictor.

Henderson said: "It is a shame to be going to Cheltenham as his third run of the season, but that's the sort of season it's been. Aintree is two and a half (miles) which opens Punchestown.

"He's all speed, I'm not saying he wouldn't go two and a half at Aintree but we'll have to see."

Nigel Twiston-Davies said of Mad Moose: "He was given 25 lengths at the start and that makes a difference, but he does stay well and I thought that was a good run."