Emma Lavelle is close to calling time on the career of Tocca Ferro.
The seven-year-old grey has not been seen since winning the Gerry Feilden Hurdle at Newbury in impressive style back in 2010 and it was hoped he would develop into a serious Champion Hurdle contender.
A tendon injury has kept him off the track since then, however, and despite being entered to run in races this season, Lavelle has discovered heat in the same tendon again and feels it may be time to draw stumps.
"I think we're in a spot of bother with him," said Lavelle.
"We've discovered some heat back in the same tendon and I think we're facing an uphill struggle.
"His owners are in New Zealand and are fully aware of the situation, but we all need to have a sit down in a group and have a discussion. It could be the end of the road for him.
"I'm absolutely gutted. You don't mind so much if they've been able to show how good they are when they get an injury, but with him we'd not even scratched the surface.
"He won that good race at Ascot and then followed up in the Gerry Feilden and who knows how good he could have been. The world was his oyster."
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