Rebecca Curtis is hopeful history can repeat itself for Lisnagar Oscar at the Cheltenham Festival.
Lisnagar Oscar finished third in the Cleeve Hurdle before landing the Stayers' Hurdle in 2020 and, having repeated that prep run on the weekend, Curtis hopes the outcome at Prestbury Park will be the same too.
The nine-year-old was a fair way behind Paisley Park and Champ in the Grade 2 on Saturday but it marked a return to form for the son of Oscar, who was beaten a long way in his previous two starts.
Curtis believes his slow start could be due to the effects of a mid-race fall at the Festival last season. Yet she maintains hope he can once again cause a surprise in the March 17 showpiece just as he did in 2020 at odds of 50/1.
Prior to that success, he had also finished third to Paisley Park in the Cleeve which could be a good sign for the 40/1 contender.
Curtis, who confirms he will head straight to Cheltenham, said: "We were delighted with his run, he seems to be back to his best. We knew there was going to be no pace in the race so we bounced him out, which isn't ideal, but hopefully in March the race should suit him better with Flooring Porter in there.
"He's a funny horse, every season he never runs much of a race before Christmas. He loves Cheltenham and it's a track which really suits him, if he can come right in March every year then I don't really mind.
“He did no better in the Cleeve when he won the Stayers' and that race was probably worse two years ago. I'll go there quite optimistic anyway.”
Curtis could also be represented with Pats Fancy in the National Hunt Chase. He beat subsequent winner Imperial Alcazar impressively when last seen at Chepstow.