The six-year-old got no further than the third fence in the Byrne Group Plate at the Festival meeting after a series of excellent efforts in novice company.
A winner at Carlisle and Plumpton, he met with a first defeat over fences when only third, nearly nine lengths behind Walkon at Exeter. However, he was giving the winner 8lb that day and while he has some ground to find on that rival here, he is in receipt of 4lb this time.
Two trips to Ireland followed that defeat and a second and a third in Grade 1 company at Leopardstown are not to be sniffed at. On the latter occasion, he was beaten some 21 lengths by Flemenstar but given that horse's achievements since, it must still be rated a fair effort.
David Pipe then kept him fresh for Cheltenham but that plan did not come off with Notus De La Tour's early departure. Admittedly, this race is not the easiest assignment after a lay-off but he has run well when fresh in the past and must be one for the short list.
Zarkandar can set out his Champion Hurdle stall with victory in the stanjames.com International Hurdle. He impressed when winning at Wincanton on his seasonal bow, despite the fact trainer Paul Nicholls had expected him to need the run.
The five-year-old enjoyed one of the highlights of his career when winning the Triumph here in 2011 and while he could not hit the same kind of heights in last season's Champion, he is now over that traditionally difficult second season and should kick on again.
Oscar Whisky is virtually unopposed as he defends his title in the Osborne House Relkeel Hurdle while his trainer Nicky Henderson can complete an across-the-card double with Vasco Du Ronceray in the BetVictor.com Summit Juvenile Hurdle at Doncaster.
The Emma Lavelle-trained Court In Motion chased home Dynaste last time but there looks to be nothing of that calibre in the RSA Novices' Trial Chase at Lingfield.
Wolverhampton stage a mammoth 14-race afternoon and evening extravaganza and Infortual is the pick of the later action in the 32Red Casino Maiden Stakes.
Hereford will close their doors after tomorrow's meeting, but Jonjo O'Neill can go out with a bang with both Tigresse Bleue and Atriptomilan primed to score.
The current racetrack has been in operation since the 1930s while Hereford itself has staged racing in some form since the 1770s so it will be a sad day as that history comes to an end.