Saldier, winner of the Grade 1 Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown last month and favourite for the Unibet Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, will miss the immediate post-Christmas period, writes Tony O'Hehir.
The five-year-old's name was missing from the list of 12 entries for the Grade 1 Matheson Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 29.
"Saldier didn't come out of his Morgiana win as well as we had hoped and as I'm not 100 per cent happy with him, we decided not to enter him for Leopardstown,” trainer Willie Mullins explained.
"Hopefully, he will be back in action early in the New Year."
Saldier's Punchestown win was his second at Grade 1 level and his first start since shattering his nose in a last flight fall at Naas in November 2018.
Mullins has entered last season's star novice Klassical Dream, who finished third in the Morgiana Hurdle, Sharjah, winner of the race last year and fourth in the Morgiana, and Aramon for the Leopardstown event.
The entries also include the Morgiana runner-up Petit Mouchoir and Honeysuckle, the impressive winner of the Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday.