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."
24 October 2014Sir Max clinches Mercury gold
Full marks for Bangor schooling
Milky Way on another planet
O'Brien targets another Trophy
Hurricane in hat for Morgiana
Buick happy as a Star is born
King ace back in the Old routine
Ballyalton out for the season
McCoy makes Chepstow return
Hutchinson sits out weekend action
Botti seeking Astrelle celebration
Balding sweet on Park chance
Walker hoping for Glorious victory
Times out to make Newbury headlines
Cheltenham honour leading figures
Moore keen on Adelaide chance
Stevens back for Breeders'
Johnson Houghton fined
Duke lords it at Carlisle
Southwell first for O'Brien
Fenton fined over steroids
Buywise on the money at Ludlow
Lockinge the big plan for Toormore
Stone ruled out of Old Roan
Wetherby likely for First run
Elm tops Trophy octet
23 October 2014Fenton guilty of drugs possession
Williams hoping for Max power
Harty biding his time with Lane
Clonmel aim for Baily
Jezki possible for Morgiana bow
Harrington expects Naylor to shine
Gosden a Fan of Newmarket scorer
Northern aces face off in Cumbria
Murphy plagued by shoulder injury
Dynaste charts direct Haydock route
O'Brien outlines Breeders' plans
Wetherby-bound Taquin to duck Power
High hopes for Adelaide run
Gilgamboa waits on ground
Dandino misses Cup date
22 October 2014December date for Balding memorial
Deputy outgunned at Fontwell
Whisky chasing Power spoils
Burke maps out Odeliz targets
Present sights set on Power prize
New category for all-weather champs
Moviesta has sales date
National aim for O'Neill star
Cheltenham on Ginge agenda
Lewis eyeing Dubai success
Henderson handed Ascot role
Panther given Breeders' go-ahead
Plain sailing for perfect Storm
Big Easy sets sail for Open fixture
Hall monitored for Giant Bolster
Stomachion in November frame
Hughes revels in 'sweet' success
BHA moves to address small fields
Connell turns to Heskin
Integral to race on next year
21 October 2014Storm breezes to Exeter victory
Moore concedes title to Hughes
Meade maps out gameplan for stars
Pele poised to tackle Hennessy
O'Neill sure of Taquin redemption
Heron seeking Great prize
Court to go on Trial
Saviour blow for Skelton
Dan makes chase debut
Moore waits on Grugy decision
O'Neill outlines That choices
Conn possible for Auction bid
Power team weigh up options
Bangor cancel schooling card
No rushing back for Long Run
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Grands Crus retired
Exciting Berlais heads to Chepstow
Force handed Hong Kong mission