Trainer Tom George is hoping The Worlds End can put himself into the reckoning for top honours when he lines up in the £60,000 G2 galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle (3.35pm) at Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day, Saturday, January 27.
The three-mile galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle is a leading trial for the £325,000 G1 Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle, run over the same course and distance at The Festival on St Patrick's Thursday, March 15.
The Worlds End was one of the best staying novice hurdlers of last season and signed off the campaign with victory in the G1 Sefton Novices' Hurdle at Aintree's Randox Health Grand National Festival in April.
The seven-year-old, owned by the McNeill family, has unfinished business at Cheltenham, having fallen at the penultimate flight when travelling powerfully in last year's G1 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at The Festival.
He has finished behind leading Sun Bets Stayers' contender Sam Spinner in both starts so far this season, latterly coming home fourth in the G1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on December 23.
George, based near Slad in Gloucestershire, said: "The Worlds End is in good form. We are aiming towards the galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle, weather permitting.
"It was a good run at Ascot. The race before that at Haydock [eighth in G3 Betfair Stayers' Handicap Hurdle] was a non-event for him and I think you can put a line through that.
"Ascot was almost like his first race of the season and he has come on a lot since then. He has been working well and it looks like he is starting to come to himself.
"He needs to improve a bit on what he has done, but he is a young horse and one of a few in the staying division that could improve some more."
Festival Trials Day offers racegoers the final opportunity to experience action at the Home of Jump Racing before The Festival (Tuesday, March 13 to Friday, March 16 inclusive).
A fabulous seven-race programme is headlined by the £100,000 G2 BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase (2.25pm). Staged over an extended three miles and a furlong, the BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase provides clues for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup at The Festival. One Man, Master Oats, See More Business and Many Clouds feature on the race's roll of honour.
Many Clouds, who enjoyed his finest hour when winning the 2015 Grand National, will be remembered at Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day with the screening of the film Many Clouds - The People's Horse.
Many Clouds - The People's Horse was produced by Equine Productions and directed by Nathan Horrocks, who rode Many Clouds in his work at home.
The film remembers the courageous Trevor Hemmings-owned gelding, who sadly passed away following his head victory over Thistlecrack in the BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase on Festival Trials Day in 2017. He also won the race in 2015.
The performance of Many Clouds at Cheltenham last year saw the horse, who was ridden by Leighton Aspell throughout his career, subsequently announced as the leading staying chaser in the 2016/17 Anglo Irish Jump Classifications.
Horrocks, who picked up award for best director at the prestigious EQUUS Film Festival in New York, will feature in Q&A sessions alongside Oliver Sherwood, trainer of Many Clouds. The two Q&A sessions will take place in the winner's enclosure at 12.05pm and 2.05pm. Racegoers will be able to submit questions to Horrocks and Sherwood via Cheltenham's Twitter account @CheltenhamRaces.
Following the running of the last race at 4.10pm, Many Clouds - The People's Horsewill be shown on TV screens across the racecourse.
Total prize money on Festival Trials Day has been boosted to £354,000 this year - an increase of £24,000 (seven per cent) on the 2017 level.
Accompanied children, aged under 18, are admitted FREE on Festival Trials Day, when the gates open at 10am.
Festival Trials Day - Order of running
Time Race Distance Prize Money
12.40pm JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (Grade 2) 2m 179y £32,000
1.15pm Timeform Novices' Handicap Chase 2m 4f 166y £27,500
1.50pm Festival Trials Day Trophy Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 4f 166y £75,000
2.25pm BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) 3m 1f 56y £100,000
3.00pm Ballymore Classic Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 4f 56y £32,000
3.35pm galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 7f 213y £60,000
4.10pm Steel Plate & Sections Handicap Hurdle 2m 179y £27,500