John Ferguson admitted being disappointed by the defeat of New Year's Eve at Ludlow on Wednesday.
The five-year-old had to settle for second place behind Ptit Zig after also filling the same position behind River Maigue, a leading fancy for Cheltenham's William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle, at Kempton on his jumping debut over Christmas.
Ferguson is hoping last year's Weatherbys Champion Bumper runner-up will be seen in his true light when ground conditions improve.
"He's come out of it fine, but I have to say we were disappointed," said the Suffolk trainer.
"We'll make sure we run him on better ground and see if we get a better result. We know he's a talented horse. I'm sure Paul's (Nicholls) horse (Ptit Zig) is very good. We will just wait to see what he is like on better ground.
"There's a long way between now and Cheltenham so we will just have to wait and see."
New Year's Eve holds entries in the Supreme and Neptune Management Investment Novices' Hurdles at Cheltenham.