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."
24 October 2014Sir Max clinches Mercury gold
Full marks for Bangor schooling
Milky Way on another planet
O'Brien targets another Trophy
Hurricane in hat for Morgiana
Buick happy as a Star is born
King ace back in the Old routine
Ballyalton out for the season
McCoy makes Chepstow return
Hutchinson sits out weekend action
Botti seeking Astrelle celebration
Balding sweet on Park chance
Walker hoping for Glorious victory
Times out to make Newbury headlines
Cheltenham honour leading figures
Moore keen on Adelaide chance
Stevens back for Breeders'
Johnson Houghton fined
Duke lords it at Carlisle
Southwell first for O'Brien
Fenton fined over steroids
Buywise on the money at Ludlow
Lockinge the big plan for Toormore
Stone ruled out of Old Roan
Wetherby likely for First run
Elm tops Trophy octet
23 October 2014Fenton guilty of drugs possession
Williams hoping for Max power
Harty biding his time with Lane
Clonmel aim for Baily
Jezki possible for Morgiana bow
Harrington expects Naylor to shine
Gosden a Fan of Newmarket scorer
Northern aces face off in Cumbria
Murphy plagued by shoulder injury
Dynaste charts direct Haydock route
O'Brien outlines Breeders' plans
Wetherby-bound Taquin to duck Power
High hopes for Adelaide run
Gilgamboa waits on ground
Dandino misses Cup date
22 October 2014December date for Balding memorial
Deputy outgunned at Fontwell
Whisky chasing Power spoils
Burke maps out Odeliz targets
Present sights set on Power prize
New category for all-weather champs
Moviesta has sales date
National aim for O'Neill star
Cheltenham on Ginge agenda
Lewis eyeing Dubai success
Henderson handed Ascot role
Panther 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
BHA moves to address small fields
Connell turns to Heskin
Integral to race on next year
21 October 2014Storm breezes to Exeter victory
Moore concedes title to Hughes
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