Dermot Weld has revealed it is "more likely" Rite Of Passage will be trained for next year's Gold Cup at Royal Ascot than take his chance in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
The master of Rosewell House produced one of his most magnificent training performances to nurse the 2010 Gold Cup hero back from injury to win the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot in October, his first racecourse appearance in well over a year.
He has moved to prominence in ante-post lists for the World Hurdle following the shock news four-time winner Big Buck's will miss the rest of the season with injury but while Weld admits his charge could return to the jumping game one day, he does not believe he will head to Prestbury Park in March.
"He's back, he's sound, he's very well and in exercise daily. I spoke with Dr Lambe (owner) and we decided we'd have one more crack at the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot with him in 2013. That remains his target," Weld told At The Races.
"I will speak with Dr Lambe over Christmas about the possibility of rethinking about the long-distance hurdle (World Hurdle), but I think it's more likely we'll stick to our plan.
"He's a very talented horse. The only risk for the Gold Cup is the ground, that it could get too firm at Ascot in the summer time.
"We could always go back in 2014 and train him for the long-distance hurdle at Cheltenham. That was the decision and I would say we'll probably stick with it."
3 August 2015Undrafted set to swerve Haydock
'Awesome' Acapulco primed for York
Tropics set for Breeders' Cup trip
Winters ponders next Rebel move
Sails set for Newbury
Hot aiming to burn off rivals
No return date set for Spring
Ground 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
McCullagh 'on the mend'
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 2015Dream 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