Petit Robin to undergo surgery after Ascot fall

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In what has been a tremendously successful few weeks for trainer Nicky Henderson there have been a few major setbacks, but such is the nature of jumps racing, writes Elliot Slater

Having lost the very promising Peveril at Warwick (he was four lengths clear at the last when taking a fatal fall under Andrew Tinkler), only minutes before Long Run and Riverside Theatre provided the yard with a famous 1-2 in the King George VI Chase at Kempton, Henderson sustained another blow with the fall of the very talented Petit Robin in the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot last Saturday. 

Barry Geraghty's mount was travelling strongly on the heels of the leaders when taking a crashing fall at the ninth fence, and then proceeded to gallop loose for the rest of the contest. The John Poynton-owned ex-French eight-year-old is understood to have suffered a cracked shoulder and will undergo surgery early this week, an operation that means that the classy two-miler will be out of action for at least the rest of the season and possibly longer. Those who bet on horse racing know it can be a cruel sport, and no one likes to see that kind of incident.  

The injury could have been worse, as had the shoulder shattered he would have had little hope of survival, but with the implanting of screws to hold the bone together the prognosis is cautiously optimistic. 

A winner of the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton in 2009 and a runner-up to Well Chief in the 2010 Victor Chandler Chase, Petit Robin had begun this term with a solid effort in chasing home Master Minded in the Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase and was a lively outsider for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in mid-March. Fingers are firmly crossed that Henderson's talented charge will return to the fray in due course and perform at the same level in season's to come.

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