ALAN King has admitted defeat in his race to get Grumeti ready in time for the Stan James Champion Hurdle.
Last year's Triumph Hurdle runner-up, who went one better at Aintree, had a couple of runs on the Flat in the summer but met with a setback which has kept him off the track so far this season.
Barbury Castle trainer King had hoped to run him in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton this weekend but that will now come too soon and the Barbury Castle handler will not send him to Cheltenham without the aid of a previous run.
A statement on King's website read: "Grumeti, winner of the Grade One juvenile hurdle at Aintree last April, suffered a couple of niggling problems in the autumn which delayed his jumping comeback, but all seemed to be going well in his game of catch-up until he pulled muscles last week.
"Unfortunately, with Saturday's Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton coming too soon and no prospect of a prep-race before the Festival, he has been ruled him out of the Champion."
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