Cinders And Ashes heads a field of just four for the StanJames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday.
Donald McCain, trainer of Supreme Novices' Hurdle hero Cinders And Ashes, is bidding for a third successive victory in the Grade One contest following Peddlers Cross in 2010 and Overturn 12 months ago.
The Charles Byrnes-trained Trifolium, the mount of Andrew Lynch, was just a length and a half behind Cinders and Ashes when third at Cheltenham and reopposes for Ireland.
John Quinn's Triumph Hurdle winner Countrywide Flame reverts to hurdles after having been narrowly denied in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket last month. He will be ridden by Denis O'Regan for the first time.
The field is completed by Brian Ellison's consistent handicapper Bothy, who was supplemented for the race on Monday.
Set to be run on very testing ground, the Grade One contest has been hit by the defections of Darlan and Champion Hurdler Rock On Ruby.
Harry Fry, trainer of Rock On Ruby, said in a statement: "The plan was always to take the horse to Newcastle, provided the going wasn't too soft. Unfortunately after the dreadful weather around the country the ground is bound to be very testing on Saturday.
"To run him first time on this type of going is not ideal. We are looking at the bigger picture because the aim for Rock On Ruby all season is to try to win the Champion Hurdle again in March. And we think he has a decent chance of doing that.
"So we will give the Fighting Fifth a miss and wait instead for Cheltenham a fortnight later."
Echoing similar ground concerns, Darlan's trainer Nicky Henderson said: "We ummed and aahed about it for a long time, but the decision was taken because of the ground."
3 August 2015Ground key to Belardo targets
No hurry for Pharoah target
Phenomenal Pharoah does it again
Longford edges Galway thriller
Impact too strong at Chester
Fitz foiled on comeback
Baraweez in Galway repeat
Amazing summer continues for Maria
Intilaaq camp on weather watch
Basem to step up in grade
Mini-break good for Horn - Gosden
Hobbs considered for Newbury trial
2 August 2015McCullagh 'on the mend'
Dream week continues for Martin
Panama has American dream
Cyclone could stick to hurdling
Now Or Never excites O'Callaghan
Ervedya tackles Rothschild test
Mullins dominates Galway feature
Harty looking forward to a good Day
'Overwhelmed' Hughes bows out
Legatissimo stamps class on Nassau
Magical Dettori top gun at Goodwood
Dart hits Goodwood bullseye
Fantastic Frankie takes right Steps
Latharnach could drop back in trip
McNamara eager for training career
1 August 2015Rebel returns at Galway
No fairytale ending for Hughes
Stewards' glory for Magical Dettori
Legatissimo proves Nassau queen
Times targets Stewards' consolation
Hughes reflects on a golden career
Warrior books Ebor ticket
Muthmir makes amends
Hughes at his best on Bay
Mile proves golden for Beloved
Malabar stamps her class
Dettori guides Dubday to landmark
Charlton so Close to historic win
Diamonds ready to sparkle in Nassau
31 July 2015Pacy Muthmir rules in King George
Breizh bids for Galway glory
Pharoah Phan Phestival good to go
Jack's the lad in Galway Hurdle
Gosden salutes 'magical' Sir Peter
Laviniad gets up late in Corrib
Simple for Beckett and Bentley
Orange pips Goodwood rivals
Shalaa dazzles in Richmond
Relief for Hughes as Gibeon strikes
Cover up for Goodwood defence