The apparently reformed Pallasator returns to the top level in the Profile Systems Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown on Friday.
The nine-year-old mixed it with the best the staying division has to offer during his days on the Flat with Sir Mark Prescott, for whom he enjoyed Pattern-race successes in the Doncaster Cup and the Henry II Stakes at Sandown.
However, his recalcitrance began to outweigh his ability last year and owner Sheikh Fahad made the bold decision to send the veteran to Gordon Elliott in the hope a different discipline would reignite the spark.
The switch appears to have had the desired effect as Pallasator has been as good as gold since arriving in Ireland, winning his last two jumps starts, including a Grade Two success at Fairyhouse on Easter Sunday.
Peter Molony, representing the owner, said: “He keeps on improving and it’s great to see Davy (Russell) stick with him. He must have a good squeak.
“Ever since Norman Williamson won a charity race on him in Punchestown, he seems to have been very well behaved.
“Since then he’s been a saint – touch-wood.
“Finally, at the age of nine, he seems to be maturing.”
Pallasator is one of five declared runners for Elliott, although it remains to be seen whether Blow By Blow, Cartwright and Delta Work will face the starter, having already run this week.
Pallasator is set to be joined by at least one stablemate in Dortmund Park, who will be ridden by Jack Kennedy.
A six-strong team for Elliott’s title rival Willie Mullins is headed by Scarpeta, the choice of Paul Townend.
Stablemates Burrows Saint (Robbie Power), Duc Des Genievres (Noel Fehily) and Real Steel (Barry Geraghty) are all in the mix along with Getabird (Patrick Mullins) and Whiskey Sour (David Mullins), who both ran on Tuesday.
The only horse in the field not in the care of either of the championship-chasing pair is the Mags Mullins-trained Debuchet.