Hughie Morrison has described Betfair Hurdle ante-post favourite Not So Sleepy as a “probable” runner in the valuable handicap on February 8.
The former smart Flat performer announced himself as a talented hurdler when waltzing away with a valuable race at Ascot in December.
Morrison has one eye on a crack at the Unibet Champion Hurdle – but it looks like Newbury will be first.
“We are feeling our way there,” said Morrison.
“He hasn’t done any work since he ran at Ascot. He hasn’t schooled. He will do a bit more this week and next week.
“He is a probable runner. but all the boxes have to be ticked between now and the raceday.”
Nigel Twiston-Davies has a great record in the contest and holds a strong hand in a race he has won three times since 2014.
He has two novices engaged in Sir Valentine and recent Grade Two Haydock winner Stolen Silver.
“It looks like we could have two candidates with Sir Valentine who is in the same ownership as Stolen Silver. I am hopeful both will run,” said Twiston-Davies.
“We would be looking for our fourth win with Splash Of Ginge, Ballyandy and Al Dancer our previous winners.
“There is not much between them at all and Sir Valentine has plenty of experience from running on the Flat. Novices in this race have been a good formula for us. I would think Sam (Twiston-Davies) is going to have a difficult choice.”
Not So Sleepy is the current 7-1 favourite with the sponsors.