Dual Grade One winner Footpad will not be coming over to England on Saturday to contest the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury.
Connections have confirmed that the Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old will not be taking up his entry in the Grade Three handicap, for which he was as short as 10-1.
Anthony Bromley, racing manager for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, said: “He is entered in the Stayers’ Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle and it is not set in stone which race he will go for yet.”
Footpad was denied a third win at the top level last month when finding only Petit Mouchoir too strong in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.
Only 20 horses remain in the mix for one of the most valuable handicaps of the season.
In Footpad’s absence, Mullins could still run Renneti, who would have top weight.
His great rival Gordon Elliott has left in Veinard but not the strongly-fancied Sutton Place, while the only other Irish-trained possible is Noel Meade’s De Name Escapes Me.
Paul Nicholls has left in Zubayr and Movewiththetimes, with Nicky Henderson confirming Hargam and Consul De Thaix.
Last year’s Champion Bumper winner Ballyandy could be joined by his Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained stablemate Ballyhill.
Clyne, Wait For Me, William H Bonney, Beltor and Song Light are others engaged.
l Harry Cobden will continue to get plenty of opportunities for Paul Nicholls despite riding out his claim at Musselburgh on Saturday.
Cobden partnered Diego Du Charmil to win the Scottish County Hurdle, meaning he now has to join the professional ranks.
Nicholls said: “He has done extremely well to reach that landmark so quickly for one so young and nothing will change now that he is unable to claim.”
CARLISLE: 1.50 The Blue Bomber, 2.20 Un Prophete, 2.50 Lastbutnotleast, 3.20 Alfred Oats (next best), 3.55 Strait Of Magellan, 4.30 Russe Blanc.
CHELMSFORD: 2.00 Afkar, 2.30 Driver’s Girl, 3.00 Bracken Brae, 3.30 MISE EN ROSE (NAP), 4.05 Dynamo Walt, 4.40 Eurato, 5.10 Whaleweigh Station.
KEMPTON: 5.20 Awesome Rock, 5.50 Willow Spring, 6.20 Hathfa, 6.50 Pepita, 7.20 La Guapita, 7.50 Blaze Of Glory, 8.20 Masterfilly.
LUDLOW: 1.40 Shantou Rock, 2.10 Mystical Knight, 2.40 Tara View, 3.10 Icing On The Cake, 3.40 Evening Hush, 4.15 Sam Cavallaro, 4.50 Ckalco Des Loges.