The Henry De Bromhead trained Chris's Dream will be dropped in class next time out and has had his targets for the season lowered after being outclassed in the Grade One John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown on Sunday.
Last season the son of of Mahler won two of his three races, landing the Troytown Handicap Chase with ease on seasonal debut at Navan and then backing that up at Gowran in the Grade Two Red Mills Chase.
He was tried in the Gold Cup but he was ultimately outclassed and his handler was hoping that he could step up this term to mix it with the staying elite.
Having a knack for going well fresh he did just that on his seasonal debut when finishing a good second behind The Storyteller in the Grade One Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal.
Off the back of that run De Bromhead thought he had turned a corner with the company he could keep, but it was short lived having been sent to Punchestown in the fog on Sunday and finishing fifth of a seven strong field, plenty of lengths behind the leaders.
That run saw him dropped in trip to 2m4f and now it looks as though he will go back up to three miles which he ran so well over on seasonal debut.
“He seems fine. I thought a drop back in trip would suit him, but I was probably wrong to be honest,” said De Bromhead.
“Maybe he needs three miles, I’m not really sure, but I wouldn’t be rushing to go back to two and a half in that grade.
“I thought after the north that it would suit him, but he seemed to struggle over the trip and I’d say we’ll go back up now.
“Saying all that, we could look at the Red Mills Chase again, which he won last year. Even though that is two and a half, dropping back in grade is maybe the realistic thing to do.
“We could drop back to a Grade Two and see.”