Espoir D’Allen wins the Champion Hurdle from the loose horse Buveur D’Air Image supplied by The Jockey Club

Champion Hurdle winner Espoir D’Allen’s has suffered a setback and is not expected to race this season, following a “freak” accident at home. He is described as “very lame and sore”.

The five year-old  returned to Gavin Cromwell’s yard from his summer holidays just over a week ago, but is now in Fethard Equine Hospital undergoing tests.

Cromwell told the Racing Post that the problem seems to be in his off-front shoulder, but that the veterinary team in Fethard have yet to pin down the exact root of the injury.

“Last Thursday he had done a little canter and coming back in off the gallop he got spooked, reared up and fell over.

“He is in Fethard Equine Hospital and we still haven’t found what’s wrong with him, but it looks like he is going to be out for the season.

“He got a slap off the ground and the issue seems to be around his shoulder, but they are still trying to pin the problem down.

“He is very lame and sore on his right front side and he hasn’t improved since he went down there. They are still doing tests on him to try to find the problem and the vets don’t seem very optimistic of him making a speedy recovery.

“It’s a massive blow for everybody in the yard and it was just one of those freak things,” Cromwell added.

“It could happen 20 times and they’d end up with no injury. He is a lovely natured horse, but he can be sharp when he is fresh so there is always the potential for him to do something like that.”