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."
30 June 2015Time makes all the right moves
Canadian dream for Odeliz
Ground to dictate plans for Ribbons
Walsh remembers 'heavyweight' Kauto
Queen possible for Godolphin debut
Towcester chief facing BHA charges
Intilaaq in line for return
Down Royal proud to have seen Kauto
McCoy salutes 'amazing' Kauto
Nicholls leads Kauto tributes
Nicholls leads Kauto tributes
Sad end for super Star
Star put down after paddock fall
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
28 June 2015Aquam impresses on debut
Aktabantay in Jean Prat mix
Believe seeking redemption
'Positive' signs for Creighton
Law ready to Rock at the Curragh
Jack's the lad for Curragh glory
Hughes reveals training ambition
O'Neill continues in fine form
Cliffs on track in Railway
Nicholls' Debt takes Celebration
Fab four for Doyle
Byron back with a bang
Quest for Plate ends in victory
Aeolus in Chipchase surprise
27 June 2015Markaz makes his mark
Diamond sparkles in Empress
Choir hits right note at Newmarket
Cookie out of Plate
Strong British raid on Pretty Polly
Lancaster aim for Mustadeem
Creighton in induced coma
Winston hoping for swift return
Grant recovering after Curragh fall
Winston taken to hospital
O'Brien pleased with Curragh ground
Buratino on path to Phoenix
Combat primed for Criterion
Wachman hopes to be sitting Pretty
Treve all set to star on Sunday
Danzeno defends Chipchase crown
Hopeful Niven to check Plate ground
Island out for Railway success