Albion chairman Tony Bloom's hopes of a horseracing hat-trick at the showpiece meeting of the jumps season have been dashed by injury.

The Cheltenham Festival gets underway today without Bloom's equine star Penhill.

The eight-year-old was reported to be "very sore" by Irish trainer Willie Mullins after a piece of work in the build-up to the Festival.

The fragile Penhill has only raced four times over hurdles in two years.

Two of those were triumphs at the Festival, in the Albert Bartlett in 2017 and the Stayers’ Hurdle last year.

Penhill had been 6-1 second favourite to stage a repeat in the Stayers'.

Bloom has Niblawi entered for the final race of the meeting on Friday, the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.

The Neil Mulholland-trained Niblawi, who won on his seasonal return at Fakenham earlier this month, is also entered for the Matchbook VIP Silver Plate Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday.

Horsham handler Gary Moore is represented on Cheltenham's opening day by a trio of previous winners at Fontwell, 200-1 outsider The Flying Sofa, 16-1 shot Knocknannus in the Arkle and 40-1 chance Dell Oro.

Moore also runs Eragon De Chanay and Beat The Judge tomorrow and Not Another Muddle on Thursday.