Hunt Ball is set to have his sights lowered after being officially scratched from the Betfred Gold Cup at Cheltenham next month.
The Keiran Burke-trained eight-year-old ran a fine race in defeat at Cheltenham last weekend when third to Cape Tribulation and Imperial Commander in the Argento Chase.
Second to Menorah in the Peterborough Chase prior to that at Kempton over Christmas, the career of the Anthony Knott-owned gelding has been a rags-to-riches tale, and he will now attempt to add to it in the Byrne Group Plate at the Festival meeting.
After winning a novice handicap chase at Folkestone off a mark of 69 in November 2011, Hunt Ball's rise continued last year, culminating in victory in the Pulteney Land Investments Novices' Handicap Chase at the Festival in March. He is now rated 157.
Colourful owner Knott, who has landed some touches and claimed to have backed his horse to win £1m in the Gold Cup, told At The Races: "There's no point in kidding ourselves. We want to place him in a race we can win out there and the race for that is the Byrne Plate.
"It's recoup some money time. This horse is going to have some wins by his name and that is an obvious race that would jump off the page."
Knott ruled out the possibility of supplementing Hunt Ball for the Ryanair Chase.
He went on: "Keiran wants to go there, but there's £13,500 now to stump up for that (at the supplementary stage) and at the end of the day I've done my money (on Hunt Ball in the Gold Cup) and I haven't had a run yet, so we are going to come down a little in class.
"I need to have a bet to recuperate some money and the obvious race for him is the Byrne Plate.
"If we had entered him in the Ryanair that would have been the race. The Byrne Plate is going to be an easier race than the Ryanair, but he had a really hard race at Cheltenham the other day and I don't want to bottom him again."
30 November 2015Road To Riches and Apache Stronghold to duck Durkan, says Noel Meade
Willie Mullins pleased by Annie Power recovery progress
Aintree play down Crabbie's sponsorship speculation
Nicky Henderson sidesteps Tingle Creek with Sprinter Sacre
Victoria Pendleton eager for further point-to-point experience
Mouse Morris outlines Leopardstown Christmas option for First Lieutenant
Nicky Henderson's Whisper set for a break following Newbury disappointment
Gitane Du Berlais outgunned by Emily Gray at Carlisle
No More Heroes a cut above at Fairyhouse for Gordon Elliott
Sizzling Arctic Fire shows Grace under pressure at Fairyhouse
Victoria Pendleton fails to complete on first ride over fences
Long Dog's day as Willie Mullins duo has licence to thrill in Royal Bond
Rashaan stars for Colin Kidd at Fairyhouse
David Pipe keen on Kempton run for Un Temps Pour Tout
Dan Skelton outlines Baradari Leopardstown option
Noel Fehily pays tribute to Rock On Ruby
29 November 2015Ascot option for Harry Fry's Thomas Brown
Victoria Pendleton makes point-to-point debut in Devon
Andrew Lynch maps out Zabana chase return
Emma Lavelle mulling Shotgun Paddy Welsh National prep
Trip To Paris unplaced as Shonan Pandora claims Japan Cup victory
Plans fluid for Victoria Pendleton point-to-point debut
Thistlecrack too sharp for Long Distance big guns at Newbury
Alan King bowled over by Hennessy hero Smad Place
Wakanda note perfect in Newcastle Rehearsal
Identity Thief delivers KO blow in Fighting Fifth at Newcastle
Micky Hammond on the mark with Caraline at Newcastle
Arctic Fire searching for big-race success in Hatton's Grace Hurdle
Long Dog and Bachasson primed for Royal Bond showdown at Fairyhouse
Former jockey Darren Egan denies stopping horses in BHA corruption case
28 November 2015Thistlecrack goes the Distance at Newbury
Willie Mullins hands Gitane Du Berlais Carlisle assignment
Tea times it right at Newbury for Evan Williams
Simply Wings out to soar at Newbury in Sir Peter O'Sullevan memorial
Bobs Worth back at Newbury in attempt to regain Hennessy crown
Lamar hangs on for fast-track qualifier win at Wolverhampton
Three Musketeers adds name to illustrious Newbury honour roll
Bryan Cooper has a go with Heroes at Fairyhouse
Identity Thief faces acid test in Fighting Fifth
Kasakh Noir puts down early Cheltenham marker with Newbury success
Warren Greatrex backs Cole Harden to go the Distance at Newbury
Harry Fry calls time on Rock On Ruby career due to injury
Willie Mullins says Wicklow Brave is fighting fit for Newcastle date
27 November 2015Doncaster stewards hand out fourteen-day ban for rider John Kington
Funeral details announced for Pat Eddery
Niall McCullagh issues upbeat injury prognosis
Sean Bowen cleared for Newbury return
Ed Dunlop seeking Japan Cup solace with Trip To Paris
Paul Nicholls has Saphir Du Rheu sparkling for Newbury Hennessy bid
Native River leaves owner 'speechless' with Newbury triumph
Sternrubin leads Newbury rivals a merry dance
Ubak out to defy long absence in Newbury highlight
Winning start over fences for Shaneshill at Thurles
Modus 'getting there' in maintaining unbeaten record over hurdles at Newbury
Stuart Edmunds issues Chepstow warning for Wolf Of Windlesham
Charlie Longsdon's Pendra could enter Grand National equation