Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Denman is recovering from a “life-threatening” infection.

Owner Paul Barber told the BBC the popular chaser spent 5 months in hospital, but is now back home with rider Charlotte Alexander.

The 13-year-old retired in 2011 due to a tendon injury and spent last season being introduced to hunting and team chasing by Charlotte, as documented in her H&H blog.

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Denman and Charlotte Alexander last autumn

But after contracting a potentially fatal bone, and then blood, infection, Paul said Denman’s situation had been “touch and go” for a while.

“As you can imagine it has been a real worry. It was an extremely unique case and it is entirely due to Ian Wright and his team of Newmarket Equine Hospital that Denman is on the road to recovery,” Charlotte told H&H.

“It was difficult being so far away, but a friend who works in Nemarket would take him carrots for me every week and reported back on his well-being.”

And she said Denman was feeling well now he’s back home in Gloucestershire.

She added: “He’s being hugely naughty and biting me — he’s very cheeky!”

For more about Denman’s health, and Charlotte’s plans for him this season, see next week’s issue of H&H (31 October).