Trainer Nicky Richards is looking forward to Guitar Pete returning to Cheltenham Racecourse for the £130,000 G3 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup (1.55pm) one of the feature races of day two of The International, Saturday, December 15.
The eight-year-old, a dual G1 winner over hurdles, gained his biggest success over fences when beating subsequent G1 Betway Bowl third Clan Des Obeaux by two and three quarter lengths in the extended two and a half-mile handicap chase at Cheltenham last year.
Guitar Pete finished runner-up on his seasonal return in a Listed handicap chase at Wetherby on November 2 and ran an excellent race at Cheltenham 15 days later when taking third behind Baron Alco and Frodon in the G3 BetVictor Gold Cup at The November Meeting.
He will now attempt to emulate the only previous dual winner of the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, Poquelin, who scored in 2009 and 2010.
Cumbria-based Richards revealed: "Guitar Pete has come out of Cheltenham in great form.
"He ran a fine race in the BetVictor Gold Cup and I just think the ground was probably slightly too quick for him.
"Hopefully, that race has set him up nicely for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup.
"With the rain we've had recently, more cut in the ground would suit him as he enjoys soft ground.
"He is a horse who acts around Cheltenham and he is good enough to compete in these races. He won this race last year and it would be great if he could run well again."
Entries for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup close at noon today and will be revealed tomorrow, Wednesday, November 28.
Day two of The International also features the £140,000 G2 Unibet International Hurdle, a leading trial for the G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle at The Festival™ presented by Magners in March.
Last year's race saw three-time G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle runner-up My Tent Or Yours edge out The New One and Melon in a pulsating finish, and the winner is due to return for another crack at the G2 contest next month.
Other highlights across the two days of The International include the final leg of the Crystal Cup (https://crystalcup.org), a pan-European series comprising 10 cross country races, with the running of the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase, the £60,000 G3 December Handicap Chase and the £32,000 G2 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.