TIME For Rupert, the star of Paul Webber’s Banbury stables, showed signs of an infection following his disappointing comeback run in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday.

Having nursed the gelding back to full health after the removal of a growth close to his brain, the Mollington handler was initially disappointed with how quickly his charge faded to finish a well-beaten last of four finishers behind Reve De Sivola.

But it appears there was a viable excuse.

Webber said: “Rupert is absolutely fine. We were disappointed as all the pre-race tests we did came up clear, but we scoped him after the race and there was some mucus there.

“He has obviously picked something up at the last minute, which can happen from time to time.”

THERE is no racing in Great Britain or Ireland today or tomorrow. Boxing Day cards in tomorrow’s Oxford Mail.