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Gigginstown quash Last Instalment Gold Cup rumours

A dramatic day on which The Tullow Tank was announced as a non-runner at the Cheltenham festival ended with Gigginstown House Stud firmly denying that Last Instalment will follow suit. Both horses are trained by Philip Fenton who is facing eight charges over the alleged possession of band animal remedies.

Owner Barry Connell has decided it is unwise to run The Tullow Tank and Champion Bumper hope Volvalien at the festival due to the uncertainty over the Fenton case. Gigginstown have taken a different view and have backed their trainer to prove his innocence.

The case has been adjourned until after the Cheltenham Festival and news of The Tullow Tank’s withdrawal sparked concerns over the participation of The Last Instalment in the Cheltenham showpiece.

Coral are refunding all ante-post bets placed on The Tullow Tank who had been prominent in the betting for both the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Neptune in recent weeks. He was beaten by Vautour on his most recent start but had been reported to be on course for the Neptune.

Last Instalment was a brilliant novice but injury forced his absence after winning the Grade 1 Moriarty Chase at Leopardstown in February 2012. He has been described as having “legs of glass” but was nursed back to health and made his reappearance at Thurles in January.

Connections were delighted with his performance as he finished just over a length behind Texas Jack over two and a half miles. He was stepped up to three miles for the Irish Hennessy on 9th February where he jumped beautifully in front and came home eight and a half lengths of Tidal Bay.

Fenton reported the horse to be in great shape after the race and his odds have tumbled to 6-1 third favourite. He was as high as 40-1 prior to the Hennessy victory.