Captain Chris has been ruled out of the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton on St Stephen's Day.
The nine-year-old was due to represent trainer Philip Hobbs in the Grade One feature but will now not be running after suffering a minor injury during a schooling session on Monday morning.
While the problem means he will not have the chance to improve on last year's second in the race, Hobbs is hoping to have Captain Chris back in action next month.
He said: "He won't be running on Boxing Day. He's banged a joint schooling, it's nothing serious but he won't be running.
"I hope he will now run in the new williamhill.com Chase at Kempton on January 11."
Although Captain Chris will not take his chance, Hobbs is still set to be represented in the King George with Menorah making his seasonal reappearance in the race.
The trainer added: "He runs and is in good form."
Menorah is one of nine horses declared for the Festive highlight, with Colin Tizzard's stable star Cue Card taking top billing.
The seven-year-old silenced those who doubted his ability to stay three miles with a determined display in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month and he will once again lock horns with the runner-up on Merseyside, David Pipe's Dynaste.
Paul Nicholls, trainer of the five-times King George hero Kauto Star, has two major contenders this time around.
Al Ferof made a winning return from over a year off the track in the Amlin 1965 Chase at Ascot and will be ridden by Daryl Jacob, while stable companion and Betfair Chase third Silviniaco Conti is also in the field and is the mount of Noel Fehily.
Nicholls' great rival Nicky Henderson saddles dual King George winner Long Run and recent Peterborough Chase hero Riverside Theatre.
Long Run has something to prove after disappointing in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby and the Betfair Chase and is fitted with a visor for the first time.
Riverside Theatre wears both blinkers and a hood.
The line-up is completed by Martin Keighley's Peterborough Chase runner-up Champion Court and Gordon Elliott's Irish raider Mount Benbulben.
The only two horses not declared were Captain Chris and the Willie Mullins-trained Prince de Beauchene.