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Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Don Cossack has been ruled out of Wednesday's re-match with Cue Card at Punchestown.
Don Cossack was favourite to retain the Punchestown Gold Cup title he won last season, with King George winner Cue Card second favourite to prevail at the County Kildare Course, but the highly anticipated clash between the two now won't take place after owners Gigginstown House Studd announced that Don Cossack has suffered a tendon injury.
Trainer Gordon Elliott had been speaking earlier in the week about how well the preparations for the race had been going.
"The horse is in very good form. He worked well on Thursday and we'll give him a blow in the morning," Elliott told the Racing Post on Saturday.
"He had a week off after Cheltenham and all has gone well since. It looks as if we'll have nice ground which makes such a difference to him."
Don Cossack fell two fences from the finish when Cue Card won the King George VI Chase from Vautour at Kempton on St Stephen's Day, while Cue Card fell during the Cheltenham Gold Cup, so the meeting on Wednesday had been seen as a 'decider' between the two and Elliott had been hoping that both horses finished Wednesday's race.
"We'll never know what would have happened in the King George when our horse fell at the second-last and Cue Card won and the same can be said about Cheltenham when we won the Gold Cup and Cue Card fell," he said.
"So it looks set for a cracking race on Wednesday,"
Unfortunately, the injury to Don Cossack will now deny fans and connections the opportunity to see these two great horses battle for supremacy.