Connections of Reve De Sivola are hopeful the seven-year-old can build on his promising comeback run behind Big Buck's when he lines up in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday.
The Nick Williams-trained gelding stayed on well to take second spot when beaten nine lengths by the four-time World Hurdle hero in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury three weeks ago.
It was an encouraging performance by Reve de Sivola as he had been sidelined with a tendon injury since finishing third in the Silver Cup Handicap Chase at this meeting 12 months ago.
With Big Buck's out of this weekend's Grade One and the rest of the season with injury, the way is clear for others to set down a marker in the staying hurdle division.
"We're hopeful. He ran a good race and if he can do the same he should be thereabouts. It's wide open now but no-one likes to win a race when a horse like Big Buck's is injured. It's sad for racing and sad for Ascot, but there are a few horses who've got a similar sort of chance and Reve De Sivola is in the mix," said owner Paul Duffy.
"He was pretty fit when he ran first time, but hopefully he can come on for it. He has come back from a tendon injury so we have to make sure we look after him."
With regular partner Daryl Jacob serving a suspension, Richard Johnson takes the ride.
"When I had horses with Richard Phillips he rode for me there. He's a strong jockey and good in a finish. We would have liked to have had Daryl. He knows the horse and he's his ride. We had various options and Nick (Williams) and I agreed on Richard Johnson. Hopefully they will be a good combination," said Duffy.
Trustan Times takes a big step up in class after defying top weight in admirable fashion in the 'Fixed Brush' Handicap Hurdle at Haydock. Dougie Costello, who rides the Tim Easterby-trained six-year-old, said: "He has been a solid horse for the last two seasons and he has grown up and matured a lot this year.
"He was very impressive at Haydock and he seems to take his races better than last year. His best run last year was his first run. He is stepping up in company now so he has to prove himself. You'd like to think he'd be in the first three whichever way he goes."
7 March 2014Exchange rate pays dividend
Temps doubtful for Festival
Lockinge target for Tonto
Conor settles in at Cheltenham
De Bromhead sweet on Special
Epsom to honour St Nick
All set for a super Saturday
Mullins dominates JLT entries
Al and Dynaste top Ryanair field
Big two lead World possibles
Silver aiming to shine
Imperial only thought for Honeyball
Distance fears for Highland
Montiridge preps for Dubai trip
Ayr gets go-ahead
Ayr delay inspection decision
Benbulben misses Cheltenham
Card 'gut wrencher' for Tizzard
Guard stands tall for new record
Faugheen looms over Neptune field
Ballycasey stands firm in RSA
Sire spearheads Queen Mother list
Australia still in Derby shake-up
Henderson perfectly happy with Tent
Regal leads the way in Imperial
6 March 2014McNamara in 'excellent spirits'
Codd snapped up for Sea
Farm National bid in the balance
Byron all set for Aussie challenge
Ayr takes precautions
Bridgwater salutes unsung hero
Murtagh watches on at Lingfield
Mullins retains Fly supporting cast
Bittar welcomes bill amendments
Fenton cleared for Festival runners
Trip concerns sway McCoy to Fishers
Regal vies for Imperial rule
Mullins quintet in Supreme mix
Arkle has Champagne sparkle
Rizeena given dual Guineas options
5 March 2014Bailey praying for rain
Cee Bee supplemented for Champion
Sherwood leaning towards Bartlett
Module to take Queen Mother test
Cee Bee supplemented for Champion
Farr closes in on Winter repeat
Cirrus satisfies Barande-Barbe
Oscar teed up for Bumper raid
Tent 'sound' after injury scare
Sparrow in full flight
Seven shooting straight for Aintree
BHA soothes Mullins security fears
Moore frets over Sea Winter run
Hopes high for Alderwood return
Bolger to make late Gilgamboa call
Nay Never could be a Jersey boy
Guard gallops into record books
Cirrus fourth on Chantilly return
Security on Mullins' mind
Crecy takes Treve pacemaking role
More Of That ride up for grabs
Parade set to swerve Cheltenham
Upbeat Henderson monitoring Tent
Tea team not expecting miracles
4 March 2014Lad aiming to lift Wulfruna prize
Weld waits on Vigil call
Sherwood facing Dan deliberation
Coup was "satisfying", says Curley
Walsh: Annie can go the distance
Hughes at ease with Colonel
Wincanton switch for Artillery
Milan set for hurdles outing
Avenue back on road to Sandown
Fontwell abandons Wednesday card
Saviour likely to miss season
No World bid for Monksland
Braithwaite seeking Dream success