Paul Nicholls believes the prevailing testing conditions were to blame for Grand Sancy’s disappointing run in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
The five-year-old looked to have live claims for the traditional Cheltenham Festival curtain-raiser having seen off Sceau Royal in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton last month.
However, heavy rain on Tuesday morning turned the ground soft at Prestbury Park and Grand Sancy trailed home 11th of 13 finishers behind the impressive winner Klassical Dream.
Nicholls said: “He just didn’t like the soft ground – like a lot of them in the Supreme. He won the Kingwell on good ground and he has still had a good season.
“I would say he will have one more run at either Aintree or Ayr and he’ll then be put away.
“He will go novice chasing next season.”