The New One eyes Trial treble
Malcolm Jefferson is looking forward to the return of Cyrus Darius in Saturday's StanJames.com Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock.
The New One will attempt to win the race for a third year
Now an eight-year-old, he was last seen winning on his chasing debut nearly 500 days ago at Perth.
It transpired after that race he had picked up an injury but his talent is in no doubt given the way he won Top Novices' Hurdle at Aintree the previous April.
"It will be a relief to finally get him going again," said Jefferson. "I've been really pleased him him recently and the plan is to run.
"We did want to get him out over Christmas, we wanted to run him in the Christmas Hurdle but he just had a dirty nose for a few days and we'd waited so long we thought we could wait another couple of weeks.
"He moves as if soft ground won't bother him."
Cyrus Darius is one of 10 possible runners with Willie Mullins making a rare entry in Britain this season through Ivan Grozny, last seen winning the Istabraq Hurdle at Tipperary.
The New One, winner of the race for the past two seasons, will be back again for Nigel Twiston-Davies, while Melodic Rendezvous, successful in 2014, is also due to run.
His trainer Jeremy Scott said: "If the weather behaves itself the plan is to take him up there. He just needs everything to go his way.
"We do need an awful lot of rain, but if it was proper deep old ground he has got half a squeak of picking up some prize-money."
Paul Nicholls has entered Irving, Nicky Henderson has nominated the race for L'Ami Serge with Evan Williams' Clyne arriving on a hat-trick.
Rayvin Black, Aminabad and Moidore complete the list.