At Fishers Cross will not run in the galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham tomorrow.
The Rebecca Curtis-trained eight-year-old, owned by JP McManus, has not won since his novice days but finished third behind More Of That and Annie Power in last season’s World Hurdle.
He was last seen finishing fourth behind Lieutenant Colonel at Leopardstown, after which he stayed in Ireland for a short spell for some treatment as he returned from the Christmas Hurdle “slightly sore”.
There is a possibility At Fishers Cross could now run in the Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock, but that race has already been mooted as a possible comeback date for the fellow McManus-owned More Of That.
“He’s not going to run this weekend now,” said Curtis.
“There’s a race for him at Haydock and he might go there next.”
At Fishers Cross finished a short-head second behind Knockara Beau in last season’s renewal of the Cleeve Hurdle.
Over the bigger obstacles meanwhile, the exciting Ptit Zig is set to take in the Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton next month en route to a likely tilt at the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on March 12.
The six-year-old is unbeaten in four starts over fences this season, slamming Josses Hill on his penultimate outing at Ascot before a similarly impressive triumph at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. Paul Nicholls’ charge is one of the star names among 60 entries for the JLT, but is set to first stop off at Kempton on February 21.
Part-owner Barry Fulton said: “I think the plan is for him to run in the Pendil at Kempton next. He’s been quite impressive this season and I just keep hoping every morning I won’t get a phone call to say he’s injured.”
Ptit Zig’s stablemates Irish Saint and tomorrow’s likely Cleeve Hurdle favourite Saphir Du Rheu could also be given the chance to shine in the JLT.
All-conquering Irish trainer Willie Mullins has no less than 12 entries, with Vautour, Un De Sceaux, Valseur Lido and Vroum Vroum Mag in contention.
The Mullins dozen features among 28 possible challengers from Ireland, with Gilgamboa, Mala Beach and The Tullow Tank also on the list.
Other possible domestic-based runners include the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Splash Of Ginge and Nicky Henderson’s Josses Hill.