China Rock faces a spell on the sidelines after a setback ruled him out of an intended run at Gowran Park last weekend.

The nine-year-old signed off last season with an impressive victory in the Punchestown Gold Cup and trainer Mouse Morris had been looking forward to seeing his charge return in the PWC Champion Chase.

However, China Rock had to be withdrawn after going lame and he might not be back in competitive action until the Festive period.

"He's lame. He should be OK but he'll be out for a while," said the trainer.

"I'd be hoping he'll be back for Leopardstown (at Christmas). It's not the old injury, he's just clipped his joint. Hopefully he'll be OK."

Morris was still represented in last weekend's Gowran Park feature by First Lieutenant, who was beaten into fourth by Sizing Europe.

"He's come out of the race fine and I think he'll come on a ton for the run," said Morris.

"He was very rusty on the day but he should improve a lot and you would hope he'll go for the Nicholson ( Champion Chase) in Down Royal next."