Trainer Clive Cox has revealed Poet was under the weather following a disappointing run in the 32Red Novices' Hurdle at Sandown in early January.
The eight-year-old gelding's blood was found to be wrong after he trailed home sixth of the seven runners behind Melodic Rendezvous in the Grade One contest, formerly known as the Tolworth Hurdle. A dual Group Three-race winner on the Flat, Poet had been expected to run a big race at the Esher track as he had made a successful debut over hurdles at Newbury.
"Sadly he didn't come home at all right. He had a very off-centre blood on his return from Sandown," Cox told At The Races.
"He had won well at Newbury on his hurdles debut, but he wasn't 100% after he came back from Sandown, so we've given him a bit of time.
"We're back on track with him and hopefully moving forward but we're still a couple of weeks off making any definite plans.
"He's done really well. He's been a real superstar for us on the Flat and I'm so pleased he's taken so well to jumping. He jumps really well.
"I know we pitched him in a bit high in the Tolworth that day, but I'm pretty sure we can regroup and get things back on track."
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