ALAN King’s Bensalem will miss the Cheltenham Festival with a ‘suspensory problem’.

The Barbury Castle trainer was preparing Bensalem for the JLT Speciality Handicap Chase and he looked on course after making a promising comeback from injury at Exeter earlier this month.

Bensalem won the Handicap Chase two years ago but King revealed yesterday he will now miss Cheltenham and is out for the season.

“It is such a shame as we were delighted with his run against Harry Topper at Haldon,” said King.

“He worked very well on Saturday morning, but we weren’t happy with him a couple of days later so had him scanned on Tuesday night and it revealeduspensory.

“He had been off 22 months and these things happen – often when you patch one thing, something else crops us.”

This is the latest in a series of setbacks for King which has seen other high-profile horses such as Invictus, Medermit, Batonnier, Montbazon and Champion Hurdle hope Grumeti injured.

Meanwhile, on the gallops, Bless the Wings has been put through his paces ahead of a run at Newbury on Saturday.