Vautour will run in Thursday’s Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival rather than Friday’s prestigious Gold Cup.
The seven-year-old’s owner Rich Ricci said the switch was based on the form of the Willie Mullins-trained horse.
“I know we talked about whether he would go for the Gold Cup, that’s been our intention all year,” Ricci told Channel 4.
“But it’s a very difficult race and if he’s only 90% then we don’t want to ruin the horse.”
He added: “We feel the Ryanair is the best alternative. It’s not ideal but it’s still a great race, it’s a Grade One.”