One of the British's leading hopes in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle looks to be the Betfair Hurdle winner Soaring Glory, but connections have now put doubts in the minds of punters with them evaluating whether he will turn up at all.
The gelding made his debut in October at Chepstow over two miles and he managed to see off the superb Bravemansgame to get off the mark for the season and that form has since been franked with the Nicholls trained horse since going on to be unbeaten and also land the Grade One Challow Novices' Hurdle.
Off the back of that run Soaring Glory went to Newbury and was a good second behind the smart Dusart for Nicky Henderson that is said to be a very talented horse.
He has been seen twice since that run, unfortunately falling two starts ago at Wetherby when going on to take a minor event and then last time out was a fair third in the Grade Two Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle at Ascot behind the smart My Drogo, who has since franked that form aswell.
Being pitched into the Betfair Hurdle Handicap event off 10st 7lb made him a huge player and at 8/1 obliged to land the event with ease and from there most people thought all roads lead to Cheltenham.
However, O’Neill and owner Pat Hickey have still to have the definitive conversation which will decide whether or not he makes the journey to Prestbury Park next Tuesday and this has seen him drift on the Betfair Exchange.
(Credit ATR) “I need to speak to Pat. He wasn’t mad keen on going (to Cheltenham), and I’m lukewarm about it,” said O’Neill.
“We just haven’t discussed it. We’ll probably leave him in and have a look, so that’s about as much as I can say really.
“There’s no real reason as such, other than Pat’s not a big fan. He loves Cheltenham, but he’d love to be able to go with a runner and enjoy it (in person).”
O'Neill hopes that he has a star for the future and not wanting to burn him out is a big factor on his mind.
“He’s a grand horse, but there’s plenty of time with him really,” he added.
“If he goes then great, but if he doesn’t then we’ll wait for another day.
“That’s what we were saying before Newbury, and we never really discussed it since, so we’ll just see.”