Alan King's Vendor aims to put a disappointing seasonal reappearance behind him in the Sportingbet Intermediate Hurdle at Newbury on Thursday.
The two-mile Listed contest, better known as the Gerry Feilden, was won by subsequent Champion Hurdle winner Rock On Ruby 12 months ago. While it is unlikely to unearth a similar star this time around, each of the six runners can be given some sort of chance.
French recruit Vendor, a staying-on third when favourite for last season's Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, was pulled up on his comeback at Aintree but connections are hopeful he can bounce back.
Tony Stafford, racing manager for owners Thurloe Thoroughbreds, said: "Unfortunately things didn't work out at Aintree. He pulled too hard, running on very soft ground over a trip that was too far for him (two and a half miles).
"It was probably wrong to go there in hindsight, but he had to start somewhere and hopefully he'll have improved considerably for the run. He's back at two miles, which is where he wants to be. The ground is a bit of an issue. I think he acts on it but obviously he's got to relax when he is running in testing conditions.
"He is far more relaxed at home now, so hopefully he is the same when he gets back on the racecourse. He is a talented horse. He's only a four-year-old and still quite raw and I think we've only scratched the surface so far. He was very green in the Fred Winter. It was his first dog fight and he was stuck in traffic, but he finished his race well."
The Rebecca Curtis-trained Peckhamecho reverts to hurdles after being well beaten on his last two starts over fences.
Curtis said: "He's probably on a high enough mark, but hopefully he'll run well. It's a confidence booster as much as anything as he has lost his confidence over fences. Hopefully he'll enjoy himself. He has won on soft ground over hurdles, but I suppose it's going to be extremely soft, so that would be another question mark."
Dean Ivory does not have many runners over jumps, but is confident of a bold show from Valid Reason following his fine second at Sandown earlier this month.
"On his last run, he has to go there with a very good chance. He ran really well at Sandown and just didn't get home up the hill. Back on a flatter track, it will suit him well. I thought the race would cut up a bit, but I didn't think it would cut up to just six runners, so it's great for us. He's fit and well and hopefully he'll run a very big race," said Ivory.
30 October 2014Grece excels at Saint-Cloud
Hawk given Greatwood option
Royal summons for Apache
Hannon: Early speed key for Osaila
Bowe takes aim at WKD bullseye
Hootenanny 'smoking' for BC mission
Avenue roads lead to Newmarket
Shu to be kept busy
Scu sweet on Sensation Ascot raid
Murtagh succumbs to Cup charms
Dandino to stay in Australia
Glance denied Mackinnon defence
Bailey ace rules Supreme at Taunton
O'Brien hit by Magician blow
Diablo in big-race picture
Buckley raises Toast to Osborne
Pastille seeking four-timer
Conti all set for Charlie Hall
Barnes out to storm Saint-Cloud
Williams issues Buywise warning
Lynam reveals Slade stalls fears
29 October 2014Lame Magician out of Breeders' Cup
Diablo in big-race picture
Mullins enters strong Hennessy team
Damaged hock behind Estid reverse
Eckhart team rocked by injury blow
Hunt Ball makes Power play
Morgiana a T bone of contention
Kirby ponders Buttons French raid
Glance camp turn to Williams
Wohler trusts 'professional' Moore
Red alert to Cup challenge
Head targets more Mile glory
Mile hope Toronado in 'great form'
Telescope camp banking on Moore
Twiston-Davies link excites Moore
Flying third to Bob on hurdling bow
Harden to test top staying waters
Godolphin take share in Belardo
Mullins has big guns at Down Royal
Annacotty set for Kempton return
Powell and Bradley cleared
28 October 2014Fingal camp on weather watch
More injury woe for Popham
Dickin unveils Thomas gameplan
Power stalls in Flemington spin
Toast drawn nine in BC Classic
My Ambivalent passed fit by vets
Harry out to bring House down
Three and easy for ton-up Hanagan
Wood carves out Galway verdict
More Of That in Wetherby frame
Big guns confirmed for Charlie Hall
Byron pencilled in for Far East
Newbury reverts to original title
Magician to stay in the US
Henderson considers hurdles for Bob
27 October 2014Mountainous back on National trail
Ground to dictate Gold run
Elite aim for Rendezvous
Classic dreams at Leopardstown
Smullen celebrates seventh title
Cheltenham target for Module
Pete shows his Aintree mettle
Royal-Oak double for Boistron
Starchitect in surprise strike
New One given Haydock mission
Balding excited by Park prospects
Sights set high for Crafty