All roads now lead to Cheltenham for Hidden Cyclone after his impressive victory in the Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown on Sunday.
The 6-5 favourite, ridden by Andrew McNamara, won by five lengths from Bright New Dawn to put him firmly in contention for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Festival on March 11.
Runner-up at the Festival in the 2014 Ryanair Chase, Hidden Cyclone made all to gain revenge on Twinlight, who he came runner-up to in the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.
Trainer Shark Hanlon said after the race: "What he did today that he’s never done before is settle.
"In fact after going down to the start he was so relaxed Andrew thought there was something wrong."
And Hanlon confirmed that the two-mile Grade 1 at the Cheltenham Festival was something connections are considering.
“I haven’t spoken to the owner but we are definitely thinking down that road," he said.
"He has plenty cruising speed for two miles and he jumped better than he ever has there. I’d say the Queen Mother is the option.”
Bookmakers Paddy Power and Betfred cut Hidden Cyclone’s odds for the Champion Chase from 20-1 into 12s.
Meanwhile, Snake Eyes is not guaranteed a run in the Betfair Hurdle on Saturday.
One of the leading fancies and currently a 10-1 shot, is one of 32 entered for the race at Newbury but a maximum of 24 can go to post.
Garde La Victoire, top weight for the race, was withdrawn on Monday whilst 14-1 chance Blair Perrone was the most notable absentee.News Now - Sport News