The Worlds End will be checked over after a disappointing run in the Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.
The Grade One Marsh Hurdle winner at Ascot on December stopped quickly and was pulled up by jockey Adrian Heskin before the second-last fence in the three-mile test won by Emitom.
Trainer Tom George wants to get to the bottom of what is wrong before looking any further for The Worlds End, who holds an entry in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
“There was obviously something amiss. He got very tired. There’s something not right there – it wasn’t his true running at all,” said the Slad handler.
“We’ll carry out all the normal routine tests and see what comes out. He’s not a sick horse, but he’s obviously not right, either.
“He’s got something on him somewhere or other. We’ll just get to the bottom of it and take it from there. Apart from that, he’s fine.”
Stablemate Clondaw Castle could head to Newbury for the Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Newbury on Saturday week, after successfully stepping up to two and a half miles at Warwick recently.
Cheltenham is unlikely to be on the agenda, but George is looking forward to the spring with the eight-year-old, who prefers conditions at that stage of the campaign.
“I was delighted with him. He was placed in the Arkle last season. We’d been struggling him the first part of the season on the ground. That was the best ground he’d seen and the owners have been very patient to sit tight with him,” he said.
“He’s a progressive horse and he’ll get three miles in time. There’s plenty to look forward to with him.
“We might make entries at Cheltenham (in handicaps), but the ground there has become very loose. He’s OK on good to soft, soft, but it’s the loose stuff isn’t ideal for him.
“We might think of the race at Newbury next month. We’ve got loads of options in the spring, including Aintree.
“He may get an entry at Cheltenham, but I’d be nervous the way the ground is.”