Finian's Oscar, a leading fancy for Wednesday Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle, will not take up his entry after suffering a minor setback.
The five-year-old was among the leading lights for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle after winning each of his three hurdles starts this term, including the Grade One Tolworth at Sandown in January.
However, trainer Colin Tizzard reports his charge to be suffering from a small issue which will see him miss out next week, although he is hoping Finian's Oscar will be ready to run at Aintree next month.
Tizzard said: "Unfortunately Finian's Oscar will miss Cheltenham due to a minor setback. It's only a minor issue and all being well he will run at Aintree."
The absence of the Ann and Alan Potts-owned gelding, a winner of all three of his starts over hurdles including the Grade 1 Tolworth at Sandown (see video below) leaves Harry Fry's Neon Wolf a short-priced favourite for the day two Festival opener.
Among other good horses in the field are Gordon Elliott's Death Duty and three trained by Willie Mullins - Bacardys, Augusta Kate and Let's Dance.