Peddlers Cross set for Haydock
(Healy Racing Photos)
After a disappointing end to his novice campaign over fences, connections stated their intentions to switch the 2011 Champion Hurdle runner-up back to the smaller obstacles this term.
Having been slow to come to hand, the eight-year-old missed the first part of the new season and then an intended run at Cheltenham on New Year's Day was scuppered by the weather.
Trainer Donald McCain remains keen to find out whether his charge will stay three miles to open the door for a potential tilt at the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, but he is set to start over just two miles due to a lack of suitable opportunities.
"We are looking at Haydock for him at the moment. There are really not many places we can go with him," said McCain.
"We really need to get him started so we'll look at Haydock and we have a couple of irons in the fire for after that, but we'll see how we go."
The trainer's Champion Hurdle hope for this year is Cinders And Ashes, winner of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham last season.
He has been well beaten in the Fighting Fifth and Christmas Hurdles so far this term, but McCain remains keen on his Champion Hurdle claims.
"He's grand and we'll try to go somewhere with him (before Cheltenham)," said the trainer.
"There is the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton and the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso - things are up in the air at the moment.
"I'm not concerned about where we are with him. We know the score and I'm sure we'll be fine."
Reigning Champion Jockey Davy Russell is odds-on (best priced at 4/5) to retain his crown for the 2012-13 season, in his bid to again see off the challenge of eight times Champion Ruby Walsh for the title.