Harry Fry has confirmed last year's Champion Hurdle hero Rock On Ruby is "quite likely" to run in the 32Red Hurdle at Doncaster's additional fixture on Monday.
Fry had initially hoped to see his charge complete his preparations for the defence of his Cheltenham crown in this weekend's Betfred Mobile Sports Contenders Hurdle, but effectively ruled him out of the race earlier this week due the extremely testing conditions at Sandown.
The trainer then identified the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton on February 16 as the most likely port of call for his stable star, but he has now had a change of heart after the British Horseracing Authority gave the green light to a new Doncaster meeting, featuring the Listed 32Red Hurdle.
Fry said: "We have given him the entry and although I need to speak to the owners and discuss things with them before we finalise anything, I would say at this stage, looking at the forecast and the way the ground is at Doncaster, he is quite likely to run. We've already said the ground at Sandown this weekend is going to be too testing for him, and it looks like we might lose the Contenders Hurdle anyway.
"We don't know what the ground is going to be like at Wincanton and the Doncaster race fits in perfectly timing-wise ahead of Cheltenham.
"The BHA must be applauded. It's a great initiative to get this race on having already lost the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock. Noel Fehily came in to school the horse this morning and we're very happy with him. He's ready to run and we're looking forward to Monday."
Nicky Henderson's runaway Christmas Hurdle winner Darlan also has Doncaster as a back-up plan, should the Contenders Hurdle not survive. Officials at Sandown will make a decision on whether all Saturday's hurdle races will be abandoned following an inspection on Friday morning.
Frank Berry, racing manager for Darlan's owner JP McManus, said: "I believe Darlan is going to be entered for the Doncaster race. I haven't spoken to Nicky this morning but I believe if Sandown is on, the horse will go to Sandown. It's nice to have the Doncaster race there if we need it."
Rock On Ruby and Darlan feature among a total of 19 entries for the 32Red Hurdle, with Henderson also giving an entry to another of his Champion Hurdle hopes Grandouet.
John Quinn's Triumph Hurdle and Fighting Fifth scorer Countrywide Flame adds further strength in depth. He was a beaten favourite behind Darlan in the Christmas Hurdle on his latest appearance. Paul Nicholls has both Celestial Halo and Brampour in the mix, while Tolworth Hurdle winner and leading novice Melodic Rendezvous is an interesting possible runner for Jeremy Scott.
1 March 2015Magic McCoy on target with Fredo
Azorian back in winning groove
Berlais lands Auteuil prize
Fred Winter favoured for Berbas
Cecil runner second at Huntingdon
High hopes for Meade Festival team
Cooper seeks Cheltenham riches
High hopes for Meade Festival team
Lemaire in hot water in Japan
Reckless camp consider Arkle bid
Super set for National Duty
Longsdon retains Joe faith
Nolan hoping Noble makes cut
Camping in line for Cup bid
Bin Suroor tribute for Cavalryman
Vautour excites Mullins in workout
Elliott posse work at Leopardstown
Geraghty confirmed for Master
Wayward back on right track
Investment gains Greatwood gold
Bal win delights connections
Glinger burns off Kelso rivals
Pipe proves he's a Soll man
Geraghty shines on Leave It
28 February 2015Festival plans fluid for Cyclone
Walter back for another victory
Irish pair do battle in France
Geraghty: Sprinter will be fitter
Wylie lines up Cheltenham team
Twiston-Davies Blak in business
Divine Bishop on Festival trail
Irish duo set Doncaster poser
Night riding high for Grimthorpe
Glingerburn facing another battle
Pipe targets Aintree with veterans
Carlito primed for Kelso return
McCoy not planning Festival goodbye
Bridge camp praying for rain
Cook suspended from riding
27 February 2015Golantilla in Ballsbridge bid
Safety strikes in Zabeel Mile
Fehily confirms Zarkandar mount
Lieutenant bosses Purcell rivals
Dettori delights on Dubday
Many Clouds goes back to school
Maguire loses appeal
New One at ease for Faugheen clash
Foxrock still in Gold Cup picture
Apache ready to take flight in JLT
26 February 2015Higgins back in business
Cookie poised for April return
Silvi threat unsettles Riches camp
No going concerns at Cheltenham
Fry resigned to Fehily Ruby loss
Trip key to Balder success - King
McLernon gets nod for Holywell
Salsify leads Foxhunter field
Mullins unveils Bumper entry
Curtis hoping for Cross revival
Aurore misses Mares' date