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."
21 October 2014Panther 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
Storm breezes to Exeter victory
BHA moves to address small fields
Moore concedes title to Hughes
Connell turns to Heskin
Integral to race on next year
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
Park favourite for Trophy hunt
Al Kazeem team eye Hong Kong trip
Commemorative bound for Breeders'
Slade eyeing victorious swansong
20 October 2014Chelmsford City handed 58 fixtures
Alderwood to take two-mile test
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Hennessy aim for Clouds
Fiesolana on Breeders' trail
High-class possibilities for Trophy
Chelmsford City handed 57 fixtures
French option for Maarek
Billy back for chasing bow
Judge to bid for Breeders' glory
Pipe mulls Moon target
High hopes for Holywell
Judge in Breeders' frame
Hill stars for Stoute and Moore
Gabriel lifts Garnet for Deegan
New One back with a win
Light career hangs in balance
Stars shines on hurdling debut
King big guns ready to start
Tullius camp consider options
Doyle unlikely to appeal Ascot ban
Mullins prepares formidable team
19 October 2014New One breezes to victory
Lavelle has Becher plan for Lodge
Riches heading on road north
Down Royal plan for Tiger
New makes Kempton return
Panther hunting Canadian prize
Sun takes a shine to Cork
Hobbs upholds Showcase record
Another gold strike for Bronze
Gallant Noble a true Champion
Head turns on Charm in QEII
Madame is Ascot leading lady
Forgotten rules for Weld
Byron is poetry in motion
18 October 2014Forgotten rules for Weld
War misses Breeders' date
Rakti reaps Caulfield reward
Chatez bids for Balmoral crown
Lavelle duo top Cheltenham card
Integral takes on the boys
Noble on Champion mission
Belardo a Dewhurst sparkler
Together stands firm for Ballydoyle
Ivawood felled by plucky Thought
Crowley doubles up on Berkshire
Tendon injury sidelines Tent