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."
13 May 2013Fabre confirms Ocovango for Epsom
Aspect on route to big things
Room at the top for Cityscape
Freedom steps into chasing ranks
Lucky thirteen in line for Lockinge
Galway beckons for Swinton hero
Sajjhaa set for late return
Cadeaux thriving in Singapore
Pink primed for Duke Of York
Liber takes aim at Musidora
Battle won for O'Brien
Pretending the real deal
Duntle back to winning ways
Classic glory for Flotilla
Style wins the day in Paris
Highclere double-handed for Dante
Cornerstone plans up in the air
Beckett planning Gesture workout
12 May 2013No hurry for Jammy plans
Guest in hunt for more Ascot glory
Vow set for Goodwood return
Gold-en boy Anodin in Classic hunt
Buick aiming for French strike
Angel flies home to land Chartwell
Barizan bounces back in style
Queally lights up Ascot meeting
Ektihaam storms to Buckhounds win
Nevis takes depleted Trial contest
Hard-fought battle won at Haydock
Secret impresses in Oaks Trial
Ascot drama for Fanning
11 May 2013Felix foot-perfect on fencing debut
Cavalryman leads Cup charge
Ramsa ready to stand Trial
Duntle out to dazzle in Amethyst
Swift return doesn't bother Moran
Garman gives Bolger hope
Henderson: Ground vital for Voice
McMahon sweet on Tart Ascot claims
Murphy to move to France
Athos flies to Ormonde glory
Dee day for impressive Magician
Kingdom confirmed for Queen Anne
Secret's out for Lingfield glory
Lambe expects good run from Hall
Marengo ready to do battle
Greatwood on trial at Lingfield
Barizan sneaks into Swinton
Jamesie gunning for Vic-tory
10 May 2013Telescope focus is on Dante
Blinkers considered for Guarantee#
Bonfire camp bemoan Huxley flop
Moohaajim has six appeal
Ascot welcomes a couple of Guests