Up And Go and Clondaw Kaempfer could both be prepared for the Grand National meeting at Aintree after trainer Donald McCain elected to bypass the Cheltenham Festival with his two star novice hurdlers.
Uttoxeter bumper scorer Up And Go was thrown straight into a Grade Two at Sandown on his hurdling bow in early December and suffered a tired fall two flights from the finish.
The tumble clearly left no significant mark on the five-year-old as he has since dotted up at Wetherby and Ascot and McCain admits his charge may well have been Cheltenham-bound if he had done things differently earlier in the campaign.
"If I hadn't over-faced him at Sandown and got a couple of sensible runs in quietly and then gone to Ascot the other day, we possibly would have gone to Cheltenham, but I just feel we need a little lower profile with him now," said the trainer.
"I would think he'll go to Aintree. Whether that's two and a half or three miles, I don't quite know.
"He's going to be a better horse over a fence and Cheltenham has just come a few weeks too soon."
Snapped up for £130,000 after winning an Irish bumper last spring, Clondaw Kaempfer appeared a sound investment when winning his first two starts over hurdles at Aintree and Haydock.
He was pulled up after a bad mistake three flights from home in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury in late December, but McCain is looking forward to seeing him return at either Aintree or at the Punchestown Festival.
"He wasn't right after Newbury, but he's back cantering now," added the Bankhouse handler.
"It was nothing drastic, just a couple of bumps and bangs after that mistake at Newbury, so that was decision made for him (regarding Cheltenham). He'll go to either Aintree or Punchestown."
27 February 2015Divine Bishop on Festival trail
Irish duo set Doncaster poser
Night riding high for Grimthorpe
Golantilla in Ballsbridge bid
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
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
25 February 2015Ton-up for in-form Pipe
Big display from George veteran
Credit to join the Premier league
Jack to duck Grimthorpe date
Tea preparing for National tilt
Geraghty rates Whisper World claims
George retains Module faith
Uramazin ready to go again
Coney team wait on Festival call
Aintree on Ceremony agenda
Silvi is all Gold - Nicholls
Bright Clouds gets serious
Puffin swoops at Leicester
Nicholls: Rheu call tough for Sam
Nicholls suffers Hinterland blow
Own on Cheltenham trail
BHA issues new anti-doping rules
Walsh hoping for a Champagne moment
That ruled out of World bid
24 February 2015Carr revved up for National service
Draycott Festival plans shelved
Knott to appeal three-year ban
Conti at fever pitch for Gold Cup
Fiddes seeking Movie gift
Generous praise for Ransom
No regrets for Doyle
O'Regan rates Stark claims
Fortt wins stable staff gong
Festival aim for Keevil's Legend
Nothing slow about Best's Foot
Duke toppled at Ayr
Serge bids for Festival flyer
Filleule has 'realistic chance'
Henderson: Sprinter 'spot on'
Time beats Henderson with That
Jacob rates Reve chance
Twiston-Davies eager for Rocky ride
Beltor likely for Triumph bid