The son of Authorized, who has an entry for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham, was sent off the 5/4 favourite for the Sandown Grade One on the back of two impressive victories over timber before Christmas.
However, he failed to land a blow in the hands of Jamie Moore as Paul Nicholls' Tahmuras took home the glory, fading tamely before two out to leave a question mark over his Cheltenham Festival aspirations.
The six-year-old was reported to have scoped dirty after the race and his trainer is now contemplating swimming in calmer waters for his next outing before making a decision on the gelding's participation in the Prestbury Park opener.
"He had a bad scope after the race, but if I didn't know that I would say he is fine," said trainer Gary Moore.
"Obviously he hasn't done a lot this week, but we have to put the race behind us and move on.
"I'm not too sure where he goes next, but I might just try to find a novice hurdle for a horse that's not won more than two races. If I can find one of them, it might just be what I do.
"He will have an entry (for the Supreme) but he has to go and prove he's good enough to go there.
"We did it last year and ran him in the (Champion) bumper, which he ran well in, but you don't get a lot for finishing seventh do you, and you don't want the horse having a hard race for nothing."
Moore though, retains plenty of faith in Authorised Speed, and is certain his Sandown showing wasn't a true reflection of his ability.
On the Tolworth run, he added: "It was 100 per cent not his true running, he's a lot better than that. I'm not taking anything away from the winner, but that wasn't his true running at all."