Brewin’upastorm is said to be in great shape as he sticks to the smaller obstacles for the Loch Lomond Whiskeys National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell on Sunday.
The eight-year-old Olly Murphy-trained man made his return to the obstacle course with a convincing display at Taunton in January.
Prior to that, his last run through the hurdles was at Aintree in April 2019, when he was second in a first year contest at Reserve Tank.
He had been hunting exclusively since October of that year and had even run into the Tingle Creek Chase in Sandown in December before the connections decided to go back.
“He’s in good shape. Obviously the return to hurdles worked well on the last day,” said Murphy.
“The pitch will be fine and the small field should be fine. He gets 6 lbs off most of the field so we can’t wait to lead him.”
Cornerstone Lad is another return to the hurdles after finishing second in his two starts over the fences.
Coach Micky Hammond wants to save the winner of Fighting Fifth 2019 for an uninterrupted chase campaign next season.
“We think at this point in the season that we would like a full Novice Pursuit season next time around and hopefully without too much Covid-19,” Hammond said.
“He’s in good shape at home. It was a choice between the National Spirit or the Morebattle Hurdle (in Kelso on March 6). The ground is starting to dry out.
“He likes to do a bit of digging in the ground which he is sure to do on Sunday. We can’t wait to give it a shot in what appears to be a very open race.
“He’s generally a good jumper, so coming back to obstacles shouldn’t bother him.”
McFabulous is going for a third sophomore success of the season after winning the Persian Novices’ Hurdle and the reprogrammed Relkeel Hurdle at Kempton.
Paul Nicholls expects McFabulous to be hard to beat.
“This has been McFabulous’s target for a while and the drying ground for the past week is in its favor,” the Ditcheat manager told Betfair.
“He’s a class number, he won well at Kempton and while two miles and three stages is probably the minimum for him on this tight track, he’s in great shape and hopefully will take any hits. Then he will bypass Cheltenham and wait for Aintree. “
Molly Ollys Wishes, the progressive mare of Dan Skelton, Call Me Lord of Nicky Henderson and the aforementioned reserve tank from Colin Tizzard stable form the field of six.