Last season's Champion Hurdle hero Rock On Ruby is among field of six possibles for the StanJames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday following the confirmation stage.
The seven-year-old will bid to give rookie trainer Harry Fry a major success in his first season with a licence. Fry was assistant to the horse's former handler Paul Nicholls and was responsible for Rock On Ruby when the horse took the Cheltenham crown.
Another Festival victor set for Newcastle is Countrywide Flame, winner of the Triumph Hurdle for North Yorkshire trainer John Quinn.
Trainer Donald McCain and jockey Jason Maguire have taken this prestigious prize for the last two years with Peddlers Cross and Overturn. They are relying upon Cinders And Ashes giving them a notable hat-trick.
The five-year-old was last seen winning the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Festival from Nicky Henderson's Darlan and the Charles Byrnes-trained Trifolium. They, too, have been left in the Fighting Fifth.
Completing the sextet is Bothy, who has been supplemented by Brian Ellison following his fine effort to take fourth place behind Olofi in the Racing Post Hurdle at Cheltenham earlier this month.
The trainer said: "He's just a brilliant horse. I could have run him again a couple of days later, he's come out of it in great form. I just love the horse to bits."
Henderson admits the wet weather that is battering the country is giving him real cause for concern. The situation at Newcastle appears particularly bad and the trainer admits Darlan may not make the journey to the North East if the meeting does go ahead.
Henderson also raised the possibility of the Fighting Fifth being switched to a different racecourse, as it was when his Punjabi won the race at Wetherby in 2008 and when Peddlers Cross was victorious at Newbury in 2010.
Henderson said: "It's getting on the verge of depressing, let alone worrying. Newcastle is under threat for the Fighting Fifth. It sounds pretty dangerous. They have re-routed the Fighting Fifth in the past. If Newcastle was on you'd have to wonder if we'd want to be going there anyway, but if they switched it to Newbury is that going to be heavy as well?"
2 July 2015Magnificent seven for Elliott
Pendleton thrilled with first ride
Balding hoping for Park August run
Kirby unscathed in house fire
Pilot charters path to York
Provenance has claims on Sandown
Soapy out to slay Dragon rivals
Creighton discharged from hospital
Spencer rides Gatsby in Eclipse
Postulation checks in at Belmont
Space considered for Ascot return
Charming thoughts turn to Doncaster
Deauville date for Diamond
Mecca's takes Thirsk honours
Dods waits on Angel decision
Soumillon takes Certain ride
Mile on Spear radar
September aim for Tryster
Cup aim for Arab
Time out for Hannon aces
Close encounter excites Doyle
Island to drop in grade
1 July 2015Muir keeps faith with Baz
Lynam ponders dual July raid
Geraghty targets weekend return
Pendleton swaps saddles at Newbury
Latharnach given Goodwood aim
More Stewart woe for Lynam
Time makes all the right moves
Canadian dream for Odeliz
Ground to dictate plans for Ribbons
Walsh remembers 'heavyweight' Kauto
Queen possible for Godolphin debut
Intilaaq in line for return
McCoy salutes 'amazing' Kauto
Nicholls leads Kauto tributes
Star put down after paddock fall
30 June 2015Towcester chief facing BHA charges
Down Royal proud to have seen Kauto
Nicholls leads Kauto tributes
Sad end for super Star
Doyle keen on Beau chance
Pontefract firsts for Hannon
Horn long odds-on for Eclipse
Frustration continues for Tudhope
Globetrotting Glance retired
Package heads for retirement
Falmouth caution for Integral
Stars on Leger course
Chase set for drop in class
Vintage option for Sails
29 June 2015France for Force
Karpino King George plans on hold
Firecrown out for compensation
Prat possible for Estidhkaar
Lowther in Lady's sights
Bay bypasses Eclipse date
Beach life suits red-hot Heffernan
Forever foxes sprint rivals
Diamond sparkles in Pretty Polly
Treve too good at Saint-Cloud
Aquam impresses on debut
Pilot leaves rivals toiling
Kodi has Jean Prat option
Aeolus given French targets
Ervedya to face her elders