Kim Bailey is to give Imperial Aura the rest of the season off after the nine-year-old broke a blood vessel in the Denman Chase on Saturday.
A Cheltenham Festival winner in 2020, he won his first two races last season, which included a Grade Two at Ascot, but has failed to finish in five subsequent outings.
Having travelled and jumped well for much of Saturday’s race, Imperial Aura slowed considerably before the third-last fence and David Bass was quick to pull him up.
“He broke a blood vessel at Newbury and that is him done for the season now,” said Bailey.
“He was running a much better race but David said it happened going into the fence, that is why he jumped the fence then pulled him straight up.
“This season has just been a nightmare with him. He burst a blood vessel (at Cheltenham last March) and he hadn’t done it since until Saturday.
“He is still a good horse and you could see that on Saturday. He hit the front and he was going very nicely then bang – it happened. We’ve got to get it right.
“I think we will give him a good summer out and give him a good MOT before we decide what to do next. The good thing is he is still on one piece.”