Tom Cooper believes the testing ground was to blame for Forpadydeplasterer's disappointing performance in last weekend's Paddy Power Gold Cup.
Although the 10-year-old has failed to get his head in front since claiming the Arkle Trophy in 2009, he has run some tremendous races in defeat at the very highest level.
His trainer was confident of a big effort in the week leading up to his first ever start in a handicap at Cheltenham last Saturday, but the rain arrived the night before and Cooper believes that scuppered his chance.
Cooper said: "Everything is 100% with him. The ground was just totally against him on the day.
"He couldn't jump out of the ground at all and Paddy (Brennan) did the right thing by pulling him up.
"We'll play it by ear with him now and see how Christmas goes. There are a couple of options for him at home around that time.
"We'll be gearing him towards the spring, in all honesty, when hopefully he'll show his best back on better ground."