JLT Novices Chase: Master Dino ruled out of Cheltenham Festival after undergoing surgery

What happened?

JLT Novices’ Chase favourite Master Dino has been ruled out of the rest of the year, after sustaining a hairline fracture to his hind leg at Plumpton on Sunday. The five-year-old secured his sixth consecutive win when he won the Novices’ Chase on his British debut, but injury has cruelly robbed him of the chance to land the coveted JLT in March.

It’s a bitter blow for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, who would have been hoping to see Master Dino strut his stuff in one of Britain’s most prestigious races. The news will also come as a disappointment to trainer Guillaume Macaire, who had been working tirelessly to ensure Master Dino was ready for Cheltenham.

Master Dino has been operated on for a hairline fracture of a hind leg and has had three screws inserted today. He will definitely miss Cheltenham,” racing manager Anthony Bromley explained.  

“He’s come out of the surgery fine. He won’t be racing in 2019 but hopefully, with proper recovery, he could be racing in 2020. As of this week he has only just turned five and hopefully we’ll see him back as a six-year-old in France,” Bromley added.

Master Dino won by seven lengths from Knocknanuss at Plumpton with Timeform judging his win to be: “the best by a novice all season.” Punters who were hoping to lump on the son of Doctor Dino will be just as disappointed as the owners and trainers, with Lostintranslation the current favourite at 6/1. Punters can bet on Cheltenham on Betfair, with all the latest ante-post odds available.

Past form

Over the past 12 months, Master Dino has continued to go from strength to strength which makes his absence at Cheltenham all the more frustrating. His reputation has been enhancing ever since he established himself as one of France’s top hurdlers last season.

Not content with landing two Grade 1 wins over hurdles at Auteuil in 2018, Master Dino claimed another four victories at the same course throughout the last calendar year to propel himself into the limelight.

In 2017, Master Dino landed four victories from nine runs at Auteuil and never finished lower than fourth overall, recording two second place finishes and two in third. Such impressive form will certainly hold Master Dino in good stead when he does make his comeback.

The injury  

Although a 12 month lay-off and surgery do make Master Dino’s injury sound fairly traumatic, it’s not as bad as it appears. Sunday’s incident occurred during the race, meaning too much pressure and/or stress produced the hairline fracture as he was coasting to victory.

In terms of recovery, Master Dino will need to rest as much as possible in the first instance, before putting weight back on the injured leg. The surgery he underwent consisted of three screws being inserted into the hind leg, allowing the bones to heal as quickly as possible.

Of course, Master Dino does have the benefit of having some of the best healthcare available but nonetheless, will need to be nursed back to health in the correct fashion. Here’s to hoping to a 2020 return.

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