Nicky Henderson expects dual Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D'Air to come on for his return outing at Kelso but is delighted to have one of his stars of recent seasons back in action on Saturday.
Owned by JP McManus, the 11-year-old will have his first race in 331 days when he goes in the bet365 Morebattle Handicap Hurdle having, a race he is 9/2 to win, with Best Odds Guaranteed.
He was last been seen finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle last April and punters can catch his return as part of our Sports Live Streaming offering.
Connections have had their sights lowered on his return, with Henderson sending the 2017 and 2018 Champion Hurdle hero on the long journey north to Kelso to contest the Morebattle Hurdle.
Buveur D'Air will have to give at least 6lb away to the rest of the field and racefit rivals, of whom Metier perhaps rates the main danger.
Irish raiders Autumn Evening and Saint D'oroux are also in contention, as are Faivoir for Dan Skelton and the Brian Ellison-trained Cormier.
Henderson believes the time is right for him to return, having been impressed with the 11-year-old's work back at Seven Barrows.
"It's his first run for a long time," he said. "He ran a great race in the Aintree Hurdle last year, and then bumped into another problem – nothing to do with the foot problem which had troubled him previously – which kept him out of Punchestown.
"We had only two options for some practice – this race or the Champion Hurdle. He's got a lot of weight, but he doesn't mind very soft ground. He's in very good form. In a couple of schooling sessions he's looked exactly the same as he did five years ago – like a little arrow.
"He'll come on an awful lot for the run at Kelso, but it will be lovely to see him back."