Cheltenham Festival hero Arctic Fire is set to return to the top level in the Betdaq Champion Hurdle at Punchestown.
Having been sidelined by injury since chasing home esteemed stable companion Faugheen in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown in January of last year, the Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old produced a tremendous weight-carrying performance to land the County Hurdle under the steadier of 11st 12lb.
With Faugheen still on the sidelines, Arctic Fire could line up at Punchestown as his trainer's main hope for the two-mile Grade One on the Friday of the Festival.
Owner Nick Peacock said: " We were obviously delighted with him at Cheltenham.
"There was no confidence coming from Willie before the race - I pretty much had to talk him into running him - but the handicapper had given him a real chance by dropping him 11lb from his highest mark.
"If he was OK and he was fit for the race, then he had to have a leading chance and so it proved to be.
"I'm hoping he'll come on a bit more from the run and I would imagine he'll run in the Champion Hurdle at Punchestown now."
Peacock was represented in this year's Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham by Wicklow Brave.
The winner of last year's Irish St Leger before disappointing in the Melbourne Cup, he was far from disgraced in finishing eighth considering he completely missed the break.
Wicklow Brave could now be set for a return to the Flat.
"He ran very well and if he'd consented to jump off with the others, he may well have won the race. As Paul Townend said to me when he came back in, you can't give away that sort of ground in a championship race and expect to win," said Peacock.
"He travelled well for a long way, but obviously had to put in extra effort to make up the ground and in the end he just ran out of fizz.
"I'm not sure where we'll go with him, but I would think the Yorkshire Cup would be a distinct possibility. I don't think we'd run him against Arctic Fire at Punchestown and I think he might be better coming out of the stalls.
"He showed in the Champion Hurdle he's still got plenty of ability."