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.
21 October 2014Connell turns to Heskin
Integral to race on next year
Meade maps out gameplan for stars
Pele poised to tackle Hennessy
O'Neill sure of Taquin redemption
Heron seeking Great prize
Court to go on Trial
Saviour blow for Skelton
Dan makes chase debut
Moore waits on Grugy decision
O'Neill outlines That choices
Conn possible for Auction bid
Power team weigh up options
Bangor cancel schooling card
No rushing back for Long Run
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Grands Crus retired
Exciting Berlais heads to Chepstow
Force handed Hong Kong mission
Park favourite for Trophy hunt
Al Kazeem team eye Hong Kong trip
Commemorative bound for Breeders'
Slade eyeing victorious swansong
20 October 2014Chelmsford City handed 58 fixtures
Alderwood to take two-mile test
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Hennessy aim for Clouds
Fiesolana on Breeders' trail
High-class possibilities for Trophy
Chelmsford City handed 57 fixtures
French option for Maarek
Billy back for chasing bow
Judge to bid for Breeders' glory
Pipe mulls Moon target
High hopes for Holywell
Judge in Breeders' frame
Hill stars for Stoute and Moore
Gabriel lifts Garnet for Deegan
New One back with a win
Light career hangs in balance
Stars shines on hurdling debut
King big guns ready to start
Tullius camp consider options
Doyle unlikely to appeal Ascot ban
Mullins prepares formidable team
19 October 2014New One breezes to victory
Lavelle has Becher plan for Lodge
Riches heading on road north
Down Royal plan for Tiger
New makes Kempton return
Panther hunting Canadian prize
Sun takes a shine to Cork
Hobbs upholds Showcase record
Another gold strike for Bronze
Gallant Noble a true Champion
Head turns on Charm in QEII
Madame is Ascot leading lady
Forgotten rules for Weld
Byron is poetry in motion
18 October 2014Forgotten rules for Weld
War misses Breeders' date
Rakti reaps Caulfield reward
Chatez bids for Balmoral crown
Lavelle duo top Cheltenham card
Integral takes on the boys
Noble on Champion mission
Belardo a Dewhurst sparkler
Together stands firm for Ballydoyle
Ivawood felled by plucky Thought
Crowley doubles up on Berkshire
Tendon injury sidelines Tent