By Sportsmail Reporter
Published: 17:06 GMT, 14 January 2020 | Updated: 17:06 GMT, 14 January 2020
Connections will wait until much closer to the time before deciding which race Thyme Hill will contest at the Cheltenham Festival.
Third behind the Irish-trained pair of Envoi Allen and Blue Sari in last season's Champion Bumper at Prestbury Park, the Philip Hobbs-trained six-year-old has established himself as one of Britain's leading novice hurdlers this season with three successive wins.
Thyme Hill completed his hat-trick in the Grade One Challow Novices' Hurdle late last month and is set to head straight to the showpiece meeting in the Cotswolds - but whether he lines up for the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle or the longer Albert Bartlett remains to be seen.
Connections of Thyme Hill (L) will wait before deciding which race he'll contest at Cheltenham
Hobbs said: 'Thyme Hill is is absolutely fine. He is not the most robust horse, though he is better than last season.
'He wouldn't be physically as tough as some and as a result it makes sense not to run him before Cheltenham, so we are giving him a nice easy time at the moment. We will get some more condition on him before building up towards Cheltenham.
'My first reaction having watched the Challow is that it wasn't as good a performance as his previous runs over hurdles. However, Richard disagreed and thought he was slightly outside his comfort zone going as quick as they did. As a