Martin Keighley has ruled his Festival runner-up Champion Court out of a return trip to Cheltenham for the Paddy Power Gold Cup on November 17.
Keighley revealed the news on the day the weights were released for the first major handicap of the new season, for which Grands Crus is 3-1 favourite with the sponsors having been allotted 11st 6lb. The Gloucestershire handler will also bypass the race with Havingotascoobydo.
Champion Court was runner-up to the unbeaten Sir Des Champs back in March and filled the same spot behind Silviniaco Conti at Aintree a month later. The seven-year-old has been allotted 11st 4lb but will instead run in the Amlin 1965 Chase at Ascot two weeks later.
Ascot is also likely to be the target for his stablemate, who would be out of the handicap if the top-weight Poquelin took his chance.
Keighley tweeted: "Champion Court bypasses the Paddy Power & now heads for Ascot's Amlin Chase. Havingotascoobydo also misses the PP & has options at Ascot."
David Pipe has still not decided whether to take advantage of what looks a lenient handicap mark with Grands Crus or start his season off at the highest level in the Betfair Chase at Haydock.
Paul Nicholls has eight entries in total which include his impressive Down Royal winner Cristal Bonus (11st 6lb) and Grade One winner Al Ferof (11st 8lb). For Non Stop created plenty of interest when he waltzed away with the Old Roan Chase but his task has been made harder having been allotted 11st 11lb.
Hunt Ball was the success story of last season and he will carry 11st 6lb for Keiran Burke. Micheal Flips is an interesting contender for Andy Turnell with just 10st 8lb on his back and the former jockey was happy with his charge after finishing fifth at Ascot on Saturday.
Turnell said: "I thought that he ran all right at Ascot on Saturday - he was carrying a lot of weight and the trip was a bit sharp for him. He will be better for the run and it should put him spot-on for Cheltenham.
"His good form last season was very good. His second to For Non Stop looks very good now and he seemed to run consistently well without setting the world alight. He made one error with his jumping on Saturday but he jumped pretty well otherwise and he seems more confident over his fences now."
21 December 2014Condon not appealing whip ban
Mogol makes it look easy
Derby hero Chaparral put down
Saphir adds sparkle to Feltham
Mullins star among Christmas seven
Walsh thrilled with Sceaux spin
February return likely for That
Lough still in Lexus frame
Billy fine after Ascot spill
Hanlon hoping Cyclone strikes
Milan primed for Chepstow return
Henderson pleased with big guns
Mulholland serves up Master-class
Bayan bags big Ascot prize
Broadway proves a show-stopper
Three Long Walks for super Sivola
Queen wears Listed crown
Nicholls strikes with Saint
Sceaux puts in impressive show
Silvi the star turn in King George
20 December 2014Sceaux puts in impressive show
Geraghty enthused by Bobs work
Walsh pain at Vautour defection
Billy puffing his chest out again
Master back in the spotlight
Grugy in line to start cantering
Newland seeks more from Re
Prize money boost in HRI initiative
Zig zips to impressive victory
New steroids policy delayed
Serge states Supreme case
Exciting Sceaux out at Fairyhouse
Firebird skips National service
19 December 2014Martin readying big guns
Hobbs on Garde at Ascot
Fry excited by Activial chance
The New One in Haydock return
Reve camp not expecting a hat-trick
King issues Chatez Triumph warning
Bolger searching for Mossey key
King weighs up Karezak options
Henderson hoping Bobs makes Lexus
Simonsig camp play the long game
In-form Mole buries Exeter rivals
Sedgefield hit with heavy fine
Star names check in for Ryanair
Bobs revved up for Lexus repeat
Knott disqualified for three years
Geraghty braced for power Serge
Geraghty excited by Josses return
Activial stars in Ladbroke field
18 December 2014Alvarado back for National service
Winner given Lexus go-ahead
Cheltenham dreams for King's Zero
Sivola bids for Long Walk hat-trick
Power plan uncertain for Westener
Kauto pleases in Olympia display
Mullins eyes twin assault on Lexus
Value oozes class in Newbury romp
Annie Power on road to recovery
Spencer strikes after U-turn
Vautour ready for next jumps test
Mullins banks on Faugheen progress
Victory set to skip Ladbroke
Mullins: Fever can go the distance