KING Charles has been told the 'very sad' news that a racehorse left to him by the late Queen won't run at Cheltenham Festival.
Steal A March, who is owned by Charles and Queen Consort Camilla, was all set to run in next Thursday's Pertemps Final.
Trainer Nicky Henderson had been bullish on the 16-1 shot, insisting he had a brilliant chance of victory.
Zara Tindall was among those urging Charles to return to Cheltenham to see his runner in action.
But the horse will be missing after he returned lame following training.
Henderson told the Racing Post: "He isn't going to make it which is sad, very sad.
"We were hoping to get him to the race because it has been the plan for a while.
"And it would have been nice to have had a runner for the King and the Queen Consort, who were very much looking forward to the prospect of him lining up.
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"He was lame after his work yesterday and will have to miss the party.
"I'm really disappointed for everyone and he certainly wasn't going there as a social runner.
"I'd kept him fresh since he qualified and I thought he had a right shout."
Steal A March has won four of his 13 races under rules and won a grand total of £41,795.
The eight-year-old gelding has won three of his past six races and finished second in the other three.
His last run was at Wincanton on Boxing Day when he picked up £13,000 for winning under jockey James Bowen.
Steal A March's scratching from the Pertemps means the King and Queen consort will be without a runner at this year's Festival.
However, Charles could do what the late Queen never managed and win the Epsom Derby.
His horse Slipofthepen is around the 25-1 mark to win the biggest Flat race in the country next June.
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