Trainer Donald McCain is keeping his fingers crossed Newcastle are fit to race as he prepares to unleash Cinders And Ashes in the StanJames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle on Saturday.
McCain has had the two-mile Grade One in his sights as a starting point for his Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner for some time and while he would have preferred better ground, the Cholmondeley handler is eager to get his charge back in action.
"He's ready for the run, but obviously we're just hoping the meeting passes the inspection," he said.
"The ground is not ideal for him but he's ready for the run and he will come on a touch for it. Some of the others have had a run and he obviously won't be 110% for his first run of the year but he had a good gallop last week and we're pleased with him."
Countrywide Flame is officially the highest-rated horse in the field and enjoyed an excellent prep run when only beaten half a length by Aaim To Prosper in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket last month.
He said: "We were very happy with his Newmarket run. He's in good form, but we could have done without all the rain we've had. He's a very good horse - he doesn't know how to run a bad race. He's run on heavy at Chepstow and softer ground at Leopardstown so hopefully he will handle it."
Trifolium finished third behind Cinders And Ashes at Cheltenham before going on to claim second in another Grade One at Punchestown.
The five-year-old disappointed when only second on his return at that track but trainer Charles Byrnes expects an improved effort this time, although the easy ground will be far from ideal.
"He was very distressed after the race in Punchestown and hopefully the minor wind operation he's had since will have made a bit of a difference to him," he said.
"He seems in good form at home. Heavy ground is not ideal for him, but he has won in it before. Hopefully he'll be all right. We don't have much to find on Cheltenham form."
1 August 2015Mullins dominates Galway feature
Rebel returns at Galway
Harty looking forward to a good Day
'Overwhelmed' Hughes bows out
Legatissimo stamps class on Nassau
Magical Dettori top gun at Goodwood
No fairytale ending for Hughes
Stewards' glory for Magical Dettori
Legatissimo proves Nassau queen
Dart hits Goodwood bullseye
Fantastic Frankie takes right Steps
Latharnach could drop back in trip
McNamara eager for training career
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
30 July 2015Clown gets serious at Galway
Eddery aiming for Mile high
Fox finale for Hughes
Ivory unveils strong Stewards' team
Treacy sent for scans
Stars on show in Nassau
Lynam 'proud' of Sir Peter alliance
Tributes pour in for O'Sullevan
It's Shanahan's turn at Galway
Sir Peter O'Sullevan dies, aged 97
Kachy not for catching in Molecomb
No Sussex regrets for O'Brien
Solow flying high at Goodwood
Highland reels in Gordon rivals
Shalaa in top trim for Richmond
Dunlop excited by Trip to Goodwood
29 July 2015Fortune favours Twiston-Davies
Peacock pair vie for Galway glory
Moviesta gets King George go-ahead
Karakontie has Deauville date
Dog delivers for Mullins and Walsh
Tint proves Topaz jewel
Maguire back in the saddle
Blue back with a bang
Tough Toormore takes Lennox glory
All roads lead to Arc for Postponed
Logan shines for Kirby
Frankie grabs Gold at Goodwood
So seeking Sussex success