Messire Des Obeaux could have his first start in more than two years at Huntingdon next month ahead of a potential Cheltenham Festival outing.
Trainer Alan King has earmarked the Mansionbet Handicap Hurdle on February 9 as the first port of call for the 2016 Challow Hurdle winner on his comeback from injury, with the Stayers’ Hurdle a possible subsequent option.
The Simon Munir and Isaac Souede-owned eight-year-old has not been sighted since finishing third behind Finian’s Oscar in the Grade One Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree in 2017.
King said: “Messire Des Obeaux is entered in the Stayers’ Hurdle and if all goes well, the plan is to go for a two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle at Huntingdon next month, then take it from there.
“He was worth keeping in training and he has not missed a day since coming back into training, but it has been two and a half years since he last ran, which is a long time.
“I’m not saying he will go to Cheltenham, but a horse like him was worth the entry.”
Talented dual purpose performer Elgin will attempt to claim a second victory in the Grade Two Betway Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton on February 15.
The Elite Racing Club-owned eight-year-old has not been seen over jumps since finishing fifth behind Buveur D’Air in the 2018 Champion Hurdle.
King added: “I’m very happy with Elgin. Although he is in the Betfair Hurdle, I’m trying to get him ready now for the Kingwell at Wincanton.”