Emma Lavelle will assess future plans for Paisley Park after withdrawing him from the Marsh Hurdle at Ascot.
The undisputed king of the staying hurdle division was due to bid for back-to-back wins in the Grade One contest, but Lavelle made the decision to take him out following a morning which saw two inspections at the Berkshire track.
She said: “Ascot have gone a great job with the ground, but there are a couple of patches of false ground and we have taken the decision to pull him out as he is too good a horse to risk him. No plans yet.”
Lavelle’s pride and joy carried all before him last season, winning each of his five starts, crowned by the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
The seven-year-old had picked up where he left off when giving weight and a beating to Thistlecrack in last month’s Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, and was odds-on to continue his winning streak.
Lavelle’s husband and assistant Barry Fenton told Sky Sports Racing: “The deciding factor for us was – and it’s only a personal opinion – in our view there is false ground down the hill.
“Probably the back of the second hurdle is the worst of it down the hill for a good furlong and a half. Most of the jockeys are all happy to race and I 100 per cent get it. There are trainers who will be 100 per cent happy to race.
“It’s just about opinions and for us it’s just 100 per cent. If it was uphill maybe not as bad, but just the fact downhill they are going in a good depth in places and we couldn’t live with ourselves if anything went wrong. It was our gut feeling and we followed it.
“We have waited a lifetime to get a horse like this and it’s our duty to look after him.
“We’d love to go here. He’s bouncing. He came out of his race (at Newbury) lovely. He’s in great form, but we’ll just have a rethink where we go now.”