Stayers’ Hurdle hopeful Emitom will not reappear until the new year after suffering a setback at home.

Trainer Warren Greatrex had set his sights on the three-mile prize at the Cheltenham Festival in March for his five-year-old, who has only been beaten once in six starts.

Emitom is a dual bumper winner and bagged three novice hurdles last term before finding only Champ too good when contesting an Aintree Grade One back in April.

Greatrex said on Thursday: “Emitom had a setback schooling yesterday. He was found to be lame behind, he’s been checked over and he’s sprained a hock.

“While the prognosis is good and he will be fine, he will not be ready to run this side of Christmas.

“The aim will be to have him back in the new year – where and when I’m not sure, as first and foremost we have to get him right.

“As he is a young horse, we just want to take our time and not rush him.”

Emitom is a general 20-1 chance for Cheltenham in March.