Zarrafakt could still run in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on December 1 despite being pulled up in the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton last Saturday.
Emma Lavelle was left scratching her head after the eight-year-old, who previously had such a good record fresh, was far from fluent in his jumping before being pulled up with a mile to run.
The Andover handler's only excuse is that as a small horse, the holding ground made jumping tough for him.
"He has jumped 16 fences this morning and gone ping-ping-ping at every one of them," said Lavelle.
"Nothing is wrong with him, but he just didn't jump a fence for some reason. It's baffling because he was absolutely flying at home.
"All I can think is that he's not a very big horse and the ground was very holding at Wincanton, which would have made the fences seem very big to him - he couldn't jump out of the ground.
"In between the fences he was as happy as Larry, but he was pulled up early and obviously didn't have a race. That's crucial really, as it's no secret that he's best fresh.
"We've had a chat with his owners and there are not many options, so he may run in the Hennessy. That's not the ideal race to go on a recovery mission, but it might be the way we go."
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