The Gordon Elliott trained Delta Work has been ruled out of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The horse was last seen in defeat at The Dublin Racing Festival when finishing third behind Kemboy.
The Savills Chase at Leopardstown - Delta Work (2019) pic.twitter.com/7A7cYFnfr2
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Connections were disappointed with that run albeit on slightly drier ground than ideal for the big son of Network.
However, a problem has emerged since then and Elliott fears it has probably put an end to Delta Work's 2021 campaign.
The Cullentra trainer said: "Unfortunately, Delta Work has suffered a setback which has shown up since he last ran at Leopardstown.
"It's going to rule him out of the Gold Cup and probably the rest of the season."
Delta Work blow for Elliott
It has been a tough season for Delta Work who has not won since the 2019 Dublin Racing Festival, he was fifth in the Gold Cup last year.
The five-time grade on winner had previously won at the Cheltenham Festival when he took the Pertemps Hurdle in 2018. Since then he was third in the 2019 RSA Chase and fifth in last year's Gold Cup.
The injury leaves Elliott short of festival ammunition in the feature race on Friday. Delta Work was one of four Elliott entries, along with Samcro, Battleoverdoyen, and Shattered Love.
Shattered Love looks a more likely candidate for the new Mares' Chase on the same day, Battleoverdoyen will reportedly be dropped back in distance, and Samcro didn't stay the three-mile trip over Christmas, so probably will not run either.
The defection also makes it far less likely that Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud will not another Gold Cup. The operation is in the process of gradually winding down their racing operation. All of the four horses carry the famous maroon and white silks.
Al Boum Photo remains a clear favourite for the Gold Cup as he bids to emulate the great Best Mate, by winning the Cheltenham Blue Riband three years in a row.