Paul Nicholls has issued an upbeat bulletin about Stan James Champion Hurdle hope Zarkandar.
Last season's JCB Triumph Hurdle winner has not been seen in public so far this season but pleased his trainer in a workout this week.
Nicholls said in his column on betfair.com: "I can tell you that he is in good order and coming along very nicely
"He is over the problem that set him back for three weeks earlier in the season - he banged himself and was cast in his box - and in fact that was probably a blessing in disguise, as we have been able to take our time with him.
"He has come on really on well physically too, as he is a much bigger, stronger horse. And of course he also had a breathing operation in the summer.
"So, hopefully we have a stronger and cleaner-winded horse to go to war with this season."
Zarkandar is an 8/1 chance with Sky Bet for glory in the hurdling Blue Riband at the Cheltenham Festival in the spring.