Finian's Rainbow is to swerve the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day because of the soft ground.
Nicky Henderson will be represented by Long Run and Riverside Theatre in the Grade One showpiece, with the Queen Mother Champion Chase hero giving it a miss.
"After long deliberations and long thoughts I think Finian's Rainbow is going to stay at home," Henderson told At The Races from Ascot.
"He told us here at the last meeting that ground wasn't his type and I always thought that was the case with him. It's sad because when he won at Aintree last year we felt the King George was his sort of race.
"We were dying to up him to three miles and still will, just not in this ground. I've spoken to Barney (Clifford, clerk of the course at Kempton) this morning and to Michael Buckley (owner).
"It's not going to tell us anything except probably disappoint us and put us back into a quandary. Therefore the team is from three to two - Long Run and Riverside Theatre will both run."
David Bridgwater could turn to Tony McCoy for his King George hope The Giant Bolster.
Runner-up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the seven-year-old made a satisfactory return to action when third to Silviniaco Conti in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month.
He was ridden on Merseyside by Tom Scudamore, who has been on board for eight of the gelding's last nine starts, but the jockey would be required to ride Grands Crus for David Pipe should he take his chance.
Bridgwater said: "He's Tom's ride, but if Grands Crus runs he has to ride that, end of story. It's all up in the air, but I've been talking to (agent) Dave Roberts over the possibility of AP McCoy being free."
24 October 2014Sir Max clinches Mercury gold
Full marks for Bangor schooling
Milky Way on another planet
O'Brien targets another Trophy
Hurricane in hat for Morgiana
Buick happy as a Star is born
King ace back in the Old routine
Ballyalton out for the season
McCoy makes Chepstow return
Hutchinson sits out weekend action
Botti seeking Astrelle celebration
Balding sweet on Park chance
Walker hoping for Glorious victory
Times out to make Newbury headlines
Cheltenham honour leading figures
Moore keen on Adelaide chance
Stevens back for Breeders'
Johnson Houghton fined
Duke lords it at Carlisle
Southwell first for O'Brien
Fenton fined over steroids
Buywise on the money at Ludlow
Lockinge the big plan for Toormore
Stone ruled out of Old Roan
Wetherby likely for First run
Elm tops Trophy octet
23 October 2014Fenton guilty of drugs possession
Williams hoping for Max power
Harty biding his time with Lane
Clonmel aim for Baily
Jezki possible for Morgiana bow
Harrington expects Naylor to shine
Gosden a Fan of Newmarket scorer
Northern aces face off in Cumbria
Murphy plagued by shoulder injury
Dynaste charts direct Haydock route
O'Brien outlines Breeders' plans
Wetherby-bound Taquin to duck Power
High hopes for Adelaide run
Gilgamboa waits on ground
Dandino misses Cup date
22 October 2014December date for Balding memorial
Deputy outgunned at Fontwell
Whisky chasing Power spoils
Burke maps out Odeliz targets
Present sights set on Power prize
New category for all-weather champs
Moviesta has sales date
National aim for O'Neill star
Cheltenham on Ginge agenda
Lewis eyeing Dubai success
Henderson handed Ascot role
Panther given Breeders' go-ahead
Plain sailing for perfect Storm
Big Easy sets sail for Open fixture
Hall monitored for Giant Bolster
Stomachion in November frame
Hughes revels in 'sweet' success
BHA moves to address small fields
Connell turns to Heskin
Integral to race on next year
21 October 2014Storm breezes to Exeter victory
Moore concedes title to Hughes
Meade maps out gameplan for stars
Pele poised to tackle Hennessy
O'Neill sure of Taquin redemption
Heron seeking Great prize
Court to go on Trial
Saviour blow for Skelton
Dan makes chase debut
Moore waits on Grugy decision
O'Neill outlines That choices
Conn possible for Auction bid
Power team weigh up options
Bangor cancel schooling card
No rushing back for Long Run
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Grands Crus retired
Exciting Berlais heads to Chepstow
Force handed Hong Kong mission