Tom Palin, partner and National Hunt manager for Middleham Park Racing, says Marie's Rock will need to put in a stellar display to win the Listed Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday.
Marie's Rock is available at 11/2 to win the Surrey event, which is available to watch on our Sports Live Streaming hub, and the seven-year-old could well head a trio from the Nicky Henderson stable who have won the 2m5f contest three times in the past decade, most recently with Burrows Edge in 2020.
Henderson's charge is returning to the scene of her recent seven-length course and distance win in handicap company at the Christmas meeting, on which occasion she was registering for the first time since scoring twice as a novice in 2019.
Palin said of the £100,000 contest: "It's a very lucrative prize which makes it one of the biggest handicap prizes outside the spring festivals.
"That will make it that bit harder to win, but you couldn't fail to be impressed with how Marie's Rock went about her business when up in trip at Kempton."
Marie's Rock was tackling in excess of two miles for the first time that day and, on that performance, Palin added: "It was reminiscent of her novice hurdle days and she was always well regarded.
"She's been out in the wilderness a little, but spent the summer with Ann Duffield and has come back a different animal. She's going to have put in a very classy performance but hopefully she's back on the right track."
Beyond Saturday, Marie's Rock is entered in the Grade 1 Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, for which she can be backed at 25/1 to win.
On the potential Prestbury Park trip, Palin said: "It's over to her and she has to go and earn her right to take part in a race like that, but we at least have the option."