Leading Arkle Trophy contender Fago saw his Cheltenham Festival aspirations dealt a huge blow as he suffered a comprehensive defeat in the Kilbrittain Castle Novices' Chase at Sandown.
An impressive winner on his British debut and first start for Paul Nicholls at Newbury in mid-January, the five-year-old then fell at the second-last when looking the likely winner of the Kingmaker Novices' Chase at Warwick.
Sent off the 2-5 favourite, he was settled last of three by Ruby Walsh and appeared to be moving into contention nicely jumping the Railway fences, but could not bridge the gap when Tony McCoy kicked for home on 7-2 shot Kapga De Cerisy, who scored by 15 lengths despite making a mess of the final fence.
Winning trainer Venetia Williams said: "I put him in everything at Cheltenham and he'll go for one of the handicaps. Hopefully the proximity of the third horse means the handicapper won't overreact. I was worried the ground was different to how it has been for much of the season, but it didn't seem to matter."
Walsh said of Fago: "He rode like a horse who was coming off the end of a long season. He had a long year in France", while Nicholls later confirmed via twitter: "Fago will miss Cheltenham and we will try and get back to best for Aintree."
McCoy had earlier helped David Pipe's Shotavodka (4-7 favourite) to a facile success in the Chris Bakers' 40th Birthday 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle.
Olympian Boy (7-1) was given a ride as icy-cool as the Surrey weather by Paul Moloney in the John Ratcliffe Retirement Handicap Chase.
Christian Leech, part-owner and assistant trainer to his wife Sophie, said: "He has won four times for us now and ran very well here last time behind Shangani, who has franked the form since. He is nine, but could be able to cope with a slight step up in grade and he might come back here on March 9."
Thundering Home (7-1) did exactly that when coming from a mile off the pace in the February Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle, with Goring One (16-1) also finishing strongly under a power-packed Andrew Thornton to take the Eric's Charm Handicap Chase for trainer Anna Newton-Smith.
Jamie Moore and Be All Man (7-2) pipped McCoy and 3-1 favourite Leader Of The Gang in the David Lindon & Co Handicap Hurdle. The jockey's father, trainer Gary Moore, said with a smile: "He says he would have won on either horse!"
30 July 2014Road takes Plate riches
Australia preparing to return
King reigns in Sussex duel
Morphine investigation nearing end
Peculiar claims Galway honours
Reel has Vintage rivals in a spin
Peculiar claims Galway honours
King rules in Sussex
Sky flashes home in Gordon
Tough Teak outstays Goodwood rivals
Chepstow called off
Rich pickings for Ivawood
Edison out to light up Galway
Kingman all set for Sussex
Warwick to ditch Flat races
Estimate ready for Goodwood test
Showcase fixture avoids Ascot clash
Sous earmarked for Royal return
Injury woe for Hanagan
Bird ruled out of Nassau
Elleval team turn to Leopardstown
Zalty still in Galway frame
Tag recovering from Ascot exertions
Muthmir team eye Goodwood gold
Van driven out for Goodwood success
Love too much for Toormore
Cotai claims Molecomb glory
Leger hopefuls seek Gordon glory
Sennockian stars at Goodwood
Hannon aims to uphold family honour
He who would be King
29 July 2014Repeat Topaz victory for Vastonea
Eagle set for short break
Vulcanite spearheads Longsdon raid
Hughes launches double Plate bid
Estimate in Goodwood Cup field
Quick picks off Galway rivals
Lion could roar in Champion Stakes
Time out for Carpenter
Beckett considers Gesture gameplan
Pitt ponders Sir Stewards' run
Bird in full flight for Nassau
Beacon leads Hannon trio
Toormore on Goodwood mission
Star duo head Sussex field
28 July 2014PJA hits out at ERA Cosgrave case
Chopin team wait on softer ground
Options open for Approval
Pallasator states case for Ebor
Custom a cut above
Harty doubles up in Galway feature
Munich Mission impossible
Jinx on a high in France
Cox plays it cool with Kodi
Girl given Lowther target
Burke looking to Curragh
Hanagan hails Taghrooda
Toormore drops in class for Lennox
27 July 2014Beacon shines over Molecomb rivals
Miss skips Galway for Goodwood
Tag crowned queen of Ascot
Muthmir delivers in Dash
Metal proves International star
Sheikh pounces for late score
Kingman poised for showdown
Kleo hits top gear for Cumani
Dettori strikes on Osaila
Bear grills Winkfield rivals
Yorkshire Oaks target for Volume