Only five go to post for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham, but Festival clues are certainly on offer.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained The New One, outright favourite for the race of the same name in March, will put his credentials on the line after proving immensely impressive in three races over timber to date.
Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies said: "We'd be keen for a good gallop, but he's some animal. It's a very competitive race, but what he did at Warwick was very special indeed. He was visually very impressive that day, but I also think he has a lot of resilience if it comes to a battle."
He went on: "The only thing, possibly, is that this race is two weeks after the Warwick race, but he only really had a canter that day, so it's probably not that big a deal. It will probably be very tacky ground, but he's won on soft ground and it will be the same for everyone. He's a proper horse."
Rebecca Curtis's At Fishers Cross has progressed at a rate of knots this season. Three wins, the latest in a handicap at Cheltenham, have really caught the eye.
The trainer said: "I wouldn't say he's surprised me as we've always thought he was a good horse. He's taken a bit of time to click, but he is clearly progressing.
"I think he deserves to run in a race like this as he's been there and done it in good handicaps. This heavy ground seems to help his jumping, so that might come in handy at the weekend. He seems a horse on the up."
The Mark Bradstock-trained Coneygree has amassed a big following in three wins this season, which is not surprising given he is a half-brother to his Hennessy-winning stablemate Carruthers. Mattie Batchelor is the man on board and he is not too concerned about the step back to two and a half miles.
The jockey said: "When someone comes at him, he goes again. He's got a competitive edge and you'd rather have that than not. It's a good race with The New One and At Fishers Cross. He could easily run a good race and get beat, but enhance his Festival claims.
"We've won over this trip in bad ground and it will be a test. They're all stayers. You have to respect the others, but I like my fellow. I think you'd have to say he's ahead of Carruthers at the same stage. He's a much bigger stamp of a horse. He has ability, but it's his heart that makes him what he is."
31 October 2014Day to remember for Ellison
Johnson remains under observation
Conti chasing second Charlie Hall
Terror scares Newmarket rivals
Filleule faces Champion test
Terror scares off Newmarket rivals
Sgt far from Reckless at Uttoxeter
Little King wears Down Royal crown
Nicholls goes on Charm offensive
Fishers angling for Wetherby prize
Lavelle star Bec in business
Weld out to break new ground
Osborne ready to 'roll the dice'
Dank bids to sign off on a high
Turf glory in sight for Telescope
Red Ed upbeat about Cadeaux
Aktabantay out of Breeders' Cup
Tearless secures Good Friday ticket
Overnight stay for Johnson
Crawford banks on Izzini progress
Toast could make Spencer think
Road charts route to Royal riches
Grece excels at Saint-Cloud
Hawk given Greatwood option
Hannon: Early speed key for Osaila
30 October 2014Tearless takes Lingfield honours
Johnson taken to hospital
Royal summons for Apache
Bowe takes aim at WKD bullseye
Hootenanny 'smoking' for BC mission
Avenue roads lead to Newmarket
Shu to be kept busy
Scu sweet on Sensation Ascot raid
Murtagh succumbs to Cup charms
Dandino to stay in Australia
Glance denied Mackinnon defence
Bailey ace rules Supreme at Taunton
O'Brien hit by Magician blow
Diablo in big-race picture
Buckley raises Toast to Osborne
Pastille seeking four-timer
Conti all set for Charlie Hall
Barnes out to storm Saint-Cloud
Williams issues Buywise warning
Lynam reveals Slade stalls fears
29 October 2014Lame Magician out of Breeders' Cup
Diablo in big-race picture
Mullins enters strong Hennessy team
Damaged hock behind Estid reverse
Eckhart team rocked by injury blow
Hunt Ball makes Power play
Morgiana a T bone of contention
Kirby ponders Buttons French raid
Glance camp turn to Williams
Wohler trusts 'professional' Moore
Red alert to Cup challenge
Head targets more Mile glory
Mile hope Toronado in 'great form'
Telescope camp banking on Moore
Twiston-Davies link excites Moore
Flying third to Bob on hurdling bow
Harden to test top staying waters
Godolphin take share in Belardo
Mullins has big guns at Down Royal
Annacotty set for Kempton return
Powell and Bradley cleared
28 October 2014Fingal camp on weather watch
More injury woe for Popham
Dickin unveils Thomas gameplan
Power stalls in Flemington spin
Toast drawn nine in BC Classic
My Ambivalent passed fit by vets
Harry out to bring House down
Three and easy for ton-up Hanagan
Wood carves out Galway verdict
More Of That in Wetherby frame
Big guns confirmed for Charlie Hall
Byron pencilled in for Far East
Newbury reverts to original title
Magician to stay in the US