Paul Nicholls has revealed that his star novice hurdler Prospect Wells is to have a breathing operation at the weekend. The news comes following the horses poor run on his latest start.
The Graham Wylie-owned horse had an entrapped epiglottis following his 20-lengths fourth in the Tolworth Hurdle behind Captain Conan.
Writing in his exclusive column at www.betfair.com/paulnicholls the champion trainer said: “It must be said that Prospect Wells really had me scratching my head after his lifeless performance in the Tolworth at Sandown. I was at a total loss.
“We got Geoff Lane in to take a look at him, and scope him, and thank god we did.
“Because he discovered that the horse had an entrapped epiglottis and that 100 per cent explains the Sandown run. You are now going to ask me what an entrapped epiglottis means. To keep it simple, it is like a car running on two cylinders instead of four.
“So he is being operated on this Saturday. The reason we are leaving it until this weekend is because Geoff has organised for a specialist in this field to come and operate on him. The operation doesn’t involve a general anaesthetic.
“I do know that one high-profile horse had the same problem last season, was operated on in in the first week of February, and then won at Cheltenham. So hopefully we still have a Festival horse on our hands.
“Prospect Wells has options in both the Supreme and County Hurdle, and we have won the County with novices in the past, such as American Trilogy in 2009 and Desert Quest in 2006.
“Plans and ratings change, but at this stage I would be leaning towards the Supreme. But, honestly, I am not sure, so bear that in mind when you are betting.”