BARBURY Castle trainer Alan King has revealed stable stars Invictus and Batonnier will miss the whole National Hunt season due to injury.
Invictus won three of his four starts during his novice campaign over fences, completing the hat-trick with an impressive defeat of Bobs Worth in the Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot in February.
However, a setback ruled him out of a trip to the Cheltenham Festival and as he has failed to fully recover, he will also miss the upcoming campaign.
Batonnier has not been seen since winning a Grade Two novice hurdle at Cheltenham in late January and he too will need further time on the sidelines.
Speaking on his website alankingracing.co.uk, the trainer said: "Invictus picked up an injury when being prepared for the RSA Chase at the last Cheltenham Festival and, though he is making steady progress, he will be out for the whole of this jumps season, as will Batonnier.
"They are two of the stable's big guns so it is disappointing, but these are the hazards of NH racing, and the good thing is that both horses will still only be seven when they return."
MORE SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD