A hugely impressive winner of the Dovecote Novices' Hurdle at Kempton in February, he skipped Cheltenham to be fresh for Liverpool.
However, he could finish only sixth in the Top Novices' Hurdle behind Lalor.
"He has returned home quite sore and we are hoping he has just pulled some muscles, which would give a reason why he didn't perform," said Pauling.
"That was nothing like we know he can do.
"He will have a nice long summer break and we will be back ready to rock and roll next season. We will stick to the plan next season and keep him over hurdles."