Ex Patriot is set to tackle three miles for the first time in the galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham next week.

Connections are hoping the five-year-old can book his ticket to the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle in March.

Ellmarie Holden’s charge acquitted himself with credit at last year’s Festival, when finishing fourth in the Triumph Hurdle.

He showed his well-being with two runs in five days over two and a half miles during the Christmas period, winning at Limerick before chasing home Killultagh Vic at Punchestown.

“He came out of his last race fine, not a bother on him,” said County Kilkenny-based Holden.

“We’re going to Cheltenham on the 27th for the three-miler. He’ll probably head over on Thursday morning.

“All being well, that’s the plan for him.”